Ruins and Remains, a suite for piano, string quartet and percussion, was composed by Wolfert Breferode in 2018, to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Over time, however, it has come to embody meanings broader and more personal, with wide-ranging resonances. “At a number of levels, the piece has to do with grief and loss and learning to stand up again,” Dutch pianist Brederode says.
There is a vulnerable but resilient quality to the music, as it hovers over its emotional terrain, with moods both bleak and guardedly hopeful. Highly sensitive playing by Brederode, percussionist Joost Lijbaart and the Matangi Quartet (increasingly regarded as one of Holland’s most adventurous string quartets), distinguish a special album recorded in Bremen’s Sendesaal in August 2021 and produced by Manfred Eicher.