"Time ... and again": recorded December 2000, Festeburgkirche, Frankfurt/M.
"V&V": recorded July 2003, Pfarrkirche St. Nikolaus, Lockenhaus
"Piano Quartet": recorded June 1999, Festeburgkirche, Frankfurt/M.
- Time ... and again
for violin and piano (1996)
for Gidon Kremer and Oleg Maisenberg
- V & V
for violin and taped voice with string orchestra (1994)
- Piano Quartet in l'istesso tempo (1997)
to my first music teacher
Eagerly anticipated album by Georgia's Giya Kancheli ("the most important composer to have emerged from the former Soviet Union since the death of Shostakovich." - Time Magazine), released in the year of his 70th birthday. This disc features one of Kancheli's most ardent champions, the great violinist Gidon Kremer., who plays in duo with his old comrade, Russian pianist Oleg Maisenberg on the 26 minute "Time... and again", and leads the Kremerata Baltica on "V & V" for violin, taped voice, and string orchestra. The album is completed by the Piano Quartet, subtitled "In L'istesso tempo", performed by the Russian-American-British group, the Bridge Ensemble.
The Italian tempo designation in l'istesso tempo signifies a musical passage where the speed of the underlying pulse does not change, even if the division of the beats within a bar does so. Music written this way can create an impression of stillness, and thus this ECM New Series' album's title, Giya Kancheli: In l'istesso tempo, is certainly appropriately chosen. The three Giya Kancheli pieces presented here, Time...and again, V&V, and Piano Quartet, are characteristically gentle and mysterious works that barely disturb the surface of silence, outside of an occasional discordant and emotional outburst.
Time...and again is played by violinist Gidon Kremer and pianist Oleg Maisenberg. Though parts of it are tempestuous, the overwhelming mood that Time...and again evokes is one of nostalgia, lost things that one cannot have back. The Piano Quartet, played by the Bridge Ensemble, alternates simple melodies and textures with more tense and difficult stuff, including an angry eruption that settles back again into a sense of peaceful calm. V&V is scored for violin, string orchestra, and tape, and features Kremer once again with his group KREMERata BALTICA. This was the most satisfying of the three, a sad, lingering memory of childhood represented by a taped voice humming a child's song and answered by the ghostly string section and Kremer's searing and poignant violin. The recording, as in most ECM productions, is very well made, providing a sense of perspective and distance without allowing the music to completely disappear.
ECM's Giya Kancheli: In l'istesso tempo is thoughtful, provocative, and highly enjoyable late-night music that would be close to ideal for painting, reading, listening, or even just thinking. Kancheli writes intensely serious music that never lapses into cliches of minimalism, nor escapes into the paint-by-numbers, "let's just tread water for a few measures here" reliance on formalistic techniques. Kancheli's music is purposeful, conceived dramatically, and is psychologically effective. The booklet comes with a long and confusing note written by Wolfgang Rathert that attempts to reconcile the work of Kancheli with that of Beethoven, long-dead Viennese atonalistsm and new music in general. Parts of it are interesting, but one need not waste time reading it.
All Music Guide