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Kremerland / Gidon Kremer, Kremerata Baltica


Release Date: 10/12/2004 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 474801   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Franz LisztLeonid ChizhikAlexander WustinGiya Kancheli,   ... 
Performer:  Marta SudrabaGidon KremerDanelius RubinasAndrei Pushkarev,   ... 
Conductor:  Gidon Kremer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kremerata Baltica
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This celebratory anthology is all about liberation, creative and human. The only good reason for not acquiring this box of thinking person’s musical goodies would seem to be poverty.

Leonid Chizhik’s hugely enjoyable variations on the familiar theme from Mozart’s Piano Sonata K 331 last 25 minutes, and feature the composer (born Moldova, 1947) as piano soloist. Most of what he plays is jazz, and he plays it very well indeed. Kremer pops up for just one variation (doing a convincing Grappeli) and a cadenza (great interplay with the drum kit). Blink and you could be hearing a Creed Taylor LP or a Jarrett trio session, but there is truly serious business afoot, too. In Western hands, this kind of thing almost always
Read more becomes a woeful crossover flop. You’ve heard them. But this is Russian, and the disparate artistic potency shines through. A fine (post-) modern companion for the Rachmaninoff Paganini Variations, and the Dohnányi Nursery set. As with so much Russian music, the message is: you have to laugh or you’d cry, drink or die.

Kremerland is, on this evidence, a better place to live than the former Soviet Union, where smiles could be of the fixed variety. All these works are ironic, but the serious side of this celebratory anthology is all about liberation, creative and human, however late in the day. Alexander Bakshi (born Georgia, 1952) liberates mobile phone ringtones, and puts them in plangent dialogue with a world-famous fiddler. Kancheli offers extreme restraint, while Alexander Vustin (born Moscow, 1943) gives us seven-and-a-half serious minutes: some nice talking timpanis in this spooky, atmospheric little symphonic poem.

More instantly and infectiously winning is Georgs Pelecsis’s 10-minute Meeting with a Friend, which seems to close with a reference to Biber’s Battalia. This Riga-based composer (born 1947) found a way to blend mild minimalism with European folk-inflected modes while keeping his own expressive head above conformist waters, and can now balance irony and directness like a high-wire artist. Sergei Dreznin (born 1955) performs a similar trick by arranging some film music by Soviet light-music king Isaak Dunayevsky (1900–1955) for Kremer, strings, and the vocal exploits of the Kremerata players (unnervingly humorous as they hum along like a Siberian work detail). Kremer’s playing is properly jazzy again.

The Liszt “Dante” Sonata is one of your reviewer’s top-10 piano works. Annexed by Kremer and Dreznin as a violin concerto, it first made me want to cry foul, but I have now thrown in the towel. Kremer’s passion, wit, and intelligence make it irresistible, and Dreznin is a real wizard with the string orchestra. The duet with Marta Sudraba’s cello is most effective, as are the accompanied cadenza, and Kremer’s airborne lead-back into the Paradiso theme. Hats off for the violinist, gentlemen: a genius whose commitment to the new has made all this music possible, and helped silent voices speak in the commercial mainstream. Optimal playing time and bright sound. The only good reason for not acquiring this box of thinking wo/man’s musical goodies would seem to be poverty.

Paul Ingram, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1.
Années de pèlerinage, deuxième année, S 161 "Italie": no 7, Après une lecture du Dante by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Marta Sudraba (Cello), Gidon Kremer (Violin)
Conductor:  Gidon Kremer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kremerata Baltica
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837-1849; Weimar, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Sergei Dreznin. 
2.
Fantasy Variations for Piano, Strings and Percussion on a theme by Mozart by Leonid Chizhik
Performer:  Gidon Kremer (Violin), Danelius Rubinas (Double Bass), Andrei Pushkarev (Percussion),
Leonid Chizhik (Piano)
Conductor:  Gidon Kremer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kremerata Baltica
Period: 20th Century 
3.
Tango Hommage à Gidon by Alexander Wustin
Performer:  Gidon Kremer (Violin), Andrei Pushkarev (Percussion)
Conductor:  Gidon Kremer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kremerata Baltica
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1997; Moscow, Russia 
4.
Rag-GIDON-time by Giya Kancheli
Performer:  Gidon Kremer (Violin)
Conductor:  Gidon Kremer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kremerata Baltica
Period: 20th Century 
5.
The Unanswered Call by Alexander Bakshi
Performer:  Gidon Kremer (Violin)
Conductor:  Gidon Kremer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kremerata Baltica
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1999; Russia 
6.
Meeting with a Friend by Georgs Pelécis
Performer:  Gidon Kremer (Violin)
Conductor:  Gidon Kremer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kremerata Baltica
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Latvia 
7.
Circus by Sergei Dreznin
Conductor:  Gidon Kremer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kremerata Baltica
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1985 

Sound Samples

Années de pèlerinage: 2ème année: Italie, S.161 / Après une lecture du Dante: Andante maestoso
Années de pèlerinage: 2ème année: Italie, S.161 / Après une lecture du Dante: Presto agitato assai
Années de pèlerinage: 2ème année: Italie, S.161 / Après une lecture du Dante: Adagio - Allegro moderato
Années de pèlerinage: 2ème année: Italie, S.161 / Après une lecture du Dante: Cadenza
Années de pèlerinage: 2ème année: Italie, S.161 / Après une lecture du Dante: Poco a poco più di moto - Allegro vivace
Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Mozart: Theme
Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Mozart: Variation I
Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Mozart: Variation II
Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Mozart: Variation III
Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Mozart: Variation IV
Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Mozart: Variation V
Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Mozart: Variation VI
Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Mozart: Variation VII
Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Mozart: Variation VIII
Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Mozart: Cadenza Part I
Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Mozart: Cadenza Part II
Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Mozart: Variation IX
Tango Hommage à Gidon
Rag-Gidon-Time
The Unanswered Call
Meeting with A Friend
"Circus" - Fantasy after the Film Music by Sergei Dreznin

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