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Lament [Import]

Giya Kancheli Audio CD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 17.44
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1. Giya Kancheli: Lament - G. KANCHELI

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Out of a void of enveloping silence emerge--during the first several minutes of Lament--ultrafaint wisps from the solo violin, the bow barely seeming to make contact with the instrument. Such is the indelibly potent beginning to Giya Kancheli's poem of lamentation for his friend the Italian avant-garde composer Luigi Nono. These spare fragments, the merest shards of music, gain slight coloration from isolated tones within the orchestra and then from a soprano voice as the immensity of grief seeks a way of articulation before eventually coalescing into simple but detached phrases of infinite sadness, only to fragment yet again. Kancheli here adds to the long tradition of musical mourning with an utterly original vision that--to borrow Yeats's phrase--manages to penetrate into "the deep heart's core." Himself a long-time exile, Kancheli slowly and patiently sets an oracularly resonant text by the poet Hans Sahl. (Together with Paul Celan, Sahl inspired the Georgian composer's marvelous work Exil). Indeed, the delicate textures of his music--its vehement outbursts of full-lunged brass all the more shocking in their contrast--perfectly mirror this poetry of memory and loss. As in his recordings of the like-minded Arvo Pärt, violinist Gidon Kremer is again on a perfect wavelength with Kancheli's mystical--and resolutely unsentimental--simplicity. He summons amazing varieties of pianissimo, a mesmerizing descant on soprano Maacha Deubner's otherworldly purity of phrasing. Though only 42 minutes, the disc doesn't feel unduly "short," given Lament's emotional resonance. It's hard to imagine anything that could follow its final moments, the violin rocking between two notes in a kind of transcendental lullaby. ECM's production is, as usual, rich and full. The booklet has an intriguing essay on the composer and a suite of black-and-white photos. --Thomas May

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I bought this CD almost at random; I had read a review of it that praised the work and I found the cover striking. I never expected it to be the greatest CD I would buy this year. Like other reviewers I find the work beautifully haunting and gorgeous even at those moments when the orchestra seems to be asked to play as loudly as they can. And the singing is breathtaking: as powerful as any of the song you hear in the works of Mahler. I cannot recommend this recording enough. Do not be scared off by the unfamiliarity of the composer. This is music that is beautiful and completely accessible to all.
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3.0 out of 5 stars at times powerful, but not always July 23 2000
By J. Byrd
Format:Audio CD
This work is ambitious and sincere but seems to lose its way in its great length. The piece seems both Modern and Medieval drawing inspiration from the musics of both eras. After a beautiful (almost silent) introduction where voice and violin seem to emerge from the void, the work seems to ramble looking for direction. The best sections are soft interplays between the two soloists. If one could remove those beautifully atmospheric sections and delete the bombastic orchestral punctuations (which seem like a parody of 'crazy' Modern music), this would be an unbelievable piece.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Recording!!!! March 28 2002
Format:Audio CD
The two who criticized the composition to be distasteful because of the loud flourishes which occur in the music, are some of the most stupidest things I have ever heard. This piece is very deep and I would hold Kancheli to be one of the best composers EVER. I am reminded of Arvo Part and Sofia Gubaidalina, all create new sounds with orchestration and effects on instruments, yet retain a lot purity to the music as well. The music is very solemn and beautiful, and deftly executed by Kremer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kancheli: Weeping Prophet of Modernity Dec 29 1999
Format:Audio CD
I am listening to Kancheli's _Lament_ even as I write . . . Powerful, irresistible, almost brutal at times in the intensity of its grief . . . Runs the entire gamut of sorrow: Quiet weeping; inconsolable sobbing; madness and rage.
Like _Exil_ and _Abii Ne Viderem_, this is MUST listening. There is a depth here, an understanding that transcends a sizable portion of what passes for music today . . . A fitting requiem for Modernity, methinks.
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