Album review: Johannes Schöllhorn, Clouds and Sky (Mode)


The evanescent quality suggested by the title of Johannes Schöllhorn’s Clouds and Sky comes through in the oddly formal but relaxed progress of what is effectively a stately piano concerto based on a slowed-down Fauré Nocturne, in which the piano’s serene but deliberate line is punctuated with small stabs of woodwind and horns.

It’s accompanied here by the JACK Quartet’s equally gripping collaboration with contrabass-clarinettist Gareth Davis on “Rota”, a spackled bricolage of pizzicato and percussive blowing in a static whirl; and percussion group Ensemble S’s performance of “Red and Blue”, an exploration of decay times influenced by Schöllhorn’s fascination with colour-field painting. An absorbing, beautiful album.

Download: Clouds and Sky;  Rota; Red and Blue