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Vasks: Gremata Cellam "Book for Cello", etc / Geringas, Sitkovetsky, Randalu

Release Date: 08/12/2008 
Label:  Swr Music   Catalog #: 93229   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Peteris Vasks
Performer:  Dmitri SitkovetskyDavid GeringasKalle Randalu
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

VASKS Gr?mata ?ellam. 1 Partita. 2 Episodi e canto perpetuo 3 David Geringas (vc); 1,2 Dmitry Sitkovetsky (vn); 3 Kalle Randalu (pn) 2,3 HÄNSSLER 93.229 (56:11)

David Geringas is an astonishingly talented Read more cellist. His playing of Vask’s Gr?mata ?ellam (“The Book,” 1978) for solo cello is gripping. Partly the sense of involvement derives from the closely miked recording, which conveys the bite of the opening Marcatissimo movement, but it comes just as much from Geringas’s dedication to the text. Vasks (b.1946) is one of the foremost Baltic composers, and his music speaks with great intensity. He dedicated his later Cello Concerto (1993–94) to Geringas, and it is easy to hear why the composer holds the cellist in such high regard. The second, and last, movement of Gr?mata , simply marked, Dolcissimo , emerges as a meditative lament, whispered and with an occasional Górecki-like introspection. Interestingly, Geringas was a pupil of Rostropovich while a student at the Moscow Conservatory, and the love of big gesture and high emotion indeed echoes that of his teacher. An (unidentified) human voice echoes the cello melody, a disembodied memory.

The Partita for cello and piano (1974) is divided into four movements: the ghost of a dance pervades the Preludio (jauntily delivered here); the adagio Aria includes a more rapid, explosive section before the Toccata lightens the atmosphere somewhat (although it could hardly be described as jolly); the concluding Postludio refers back to material already heard, but does not attempt any conclusions. Kalle Randalu is the excellent accompanist.

Envisioned as an “Hommage à Olivier Messiaen,” the half-hour Episodi e canto perpetuo of 1985 tracks an emotional journey through affliction, disappointment, and suffering to an eventual arrival at love (the “Canto perpetuo,” the seventh movement). Annotations are available from the composer: the second movement, for example, is “a look at the sleeping Earth on a still night”; the fifth is “an attempt to identify and understand all that is happening.” Nods to Messiaen’s Quatuor pour le fin du temps are frequent, especially in the angular melodies of “Unisoni.” The “Canto perpetuo” itself is, at 6:10, by far the longest movement of this work. Its interior, sweet song rises upwards until it transforms itself into the final “Apogeo e Coda,” where time seems suspended.

The standard of chamber interaction on this disc is of the very highest; the recording is close throughout, but in music that speaks with this level of involvement that is no bad thing. Recommended.

FANFARE: Colin Clarke

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Works on This Recording

Gremata cellam "Book for Cello" by Peteris Vasks
Performer:  Dmitri Sitkovetsky (Violin), David Geringas (Cello), Kalle Randalu (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1978; Latvia 
Episodi e canto perpetuo by Peteris Vasks
Performer:  Dmitri Sitkovetsky (Violin), Kalle Randalu (Piano), David Geringas (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1985; Latvia 

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