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|1. Giya Kancheli: Lament - G. KANCHELI|
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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Though the disc lists a playing time of 42 minutes, it is actually longer. You just can't hear it.Published on May 13 2003
For me, the volume changes make it unlistenable. It feels to me like a very easy idea, to have a violin play such long tones & then suddenly have tons of loud noise burst from... Read morePublished on April 5 2003 by I X Key