VC DESERT ISLAND DOWNLOADS | Experimental Violinist, Patricia Kopatchinskaja – ‘5 Recordings I Can’t Live Without’

VC recently caught up with Moldovan-Austrian-Swiss violin virtuoso Patricia Kopatchinskaja - for a fun game of VC Desert Island Downloads


The Violin Channel recently caught up with boundary-pushing Moldovan-Austrian-Swiss violin virtuoso Patricia Kopatchinskaja – for a fun game of VC Desert Island Downloads. 

We sat her down to pick her brain on which 5 CD recordings she would take with her to a deserted island – and how the tracks have helped shape her as a musician.


1. African Rhythms by Gyorgy Ligeti & Steve Reich – Performed by Pierre Laurent Aimard / Aka Pygmies  

This CD from 2003 is one of the most remarkable ever … the incredibly complex polyphonic and polyrhythmic songs of the pigmies … unlettered Stone Age people living in the African rainforests … and how they inspired modern compositions, especially the Ligeti piano etudes, which are a monument in themselves … The CD illustrates the scope we musicans should aspire to develop and maintain …

African Rhythms: Ligeti - Reich |CD|

Pierre Laurent Aimard / Aka Pygmies

Release Date: June 17, 2003

Teldec Classics


2. Piano Sonatas by Galina Ustvolskaya – Performed by Markus Hinterhäuser

“When Markus Hinterhäuser – a pianist favoured by Galina Ustwolskaja herself – plays her six piano sonatas, his fingers bleed … This is the most powerful and uncompromising music from the limits of human existence … Not for every day, but important to know nonetheless … And after knowing it, nothing is the same anymore …

Galina Ustvolskaya: Piano Sonatas |CD|

Markus Hinterhäuser, Piano

Release Date: February 17, 2012

col legno


3. Contrechant, Music for Solo Clarinet – Performed by Reto Bieri

“A fearless and phenomenal clarinetist playing mostly living composers (Sciarrino, Holliger, Vajda, Eötvös), Reto Bieri masters the most incredible technical difficulties with elegance and utmost musicality … May we all become as courageous and curious as he is …

Contrechant: Music for Solo Clarinet |CD|

Luciano Berio, Heinz Holliger, Salvatore Sciarrino, Elliott Carter, Peter Eötvös, Gergely Vajda

Reto Bieri, Clarinet

Release Date: December 6, 2011



4. Beiseit / Alb-Chehr by Heinz Holliger

“Swiss oboist Heinz Holliger started as a prodigy, inventing techniques and setting new standards of playing … Widely read, he composes in the most inventive ways: solo pieces, chamber music, operas … drawing inspiration from everywhere … This CD contains a song cycle on poems by the Swiss poet Robert Walser dedicated to György Kurtag. This is followed by disquieting music to a spoken nightmarish legend from the Swiss Alps, played partly on folk instruments and having a vaguely folkish air. It’s a model of how one can find inspiration from ones own roots. I recently played Holliger’s (extremely difficult, beautiful, mystical…) violin concerto about the outstanding Swiss painter Louis Soutter … This music affected me to my core – I could not sleep for weeks …

Beiseit / Alb-Chehr |CD|

Heinz Holliger

Release Date: January 1, 1995

ECM Records



5. Images from a Closed Ward by Michael Hersch – Performed by FLUX Quartet

“Finally a tribute to an American composer and an American ensemble: Michael Hersch (*1971) combines the wide literary culture of Holliger and the uncompromising force of Ustwolskaja. My first encounter with him was this album “Images from a Closed Ward” – 13 pieces that do not let you go, played with utter conviction by the marvellous FLUX Quartet … The ghastly CD cover contrasts starkly with the superficial aesthetic mainstream. I recently recorded Hersch’s violin concerto with the amazing ICE Ensemble in New York and I feel that his music is very necessary: It is he who formulates the anxiety and pain that we all feel, when we hear of dying seas, disappearing species, expanding droughts and rising fascism …”

Images from a Closed Ward |CD|

Michael Hersch, Composer

FLUX Quartet

Release Date: March 2, 2018

New Focus Recordings