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Levant / Amici Chamber Ensemble

Glazunov / Amici Chamber Ensemble
Release Date: 10/30/2012 
Label:  Atma Classique   Catalog #: 22655   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alexander GlazunovSergei ProkofievGeorge GurdjieffGayané Chebotaryan,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amici Chamber Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Clarinettist Joaquin Valdepeñas, cellist David Hetherington and pianist Serouj Kradjian are joined by first-rate guests (Benjamin Bowman and Stephen Sitarski, violins, Steven Dann, viola) to perform a wide range of pieces which make up the passionately played program of this superb recording. The music of familiar composers such as Glazunov and Prokofiev sits alongside that of littleknown Gayané Chebotaryan, Solhi Al-Wadi, Marko Taj?evi? and other artists inspired by the “sounds and colours of the Middle East,” as explained in Kradjian’s informative liner notes. Highlights include Prokofiev’s Overture on Hebrew Themes, involving all the musicians and featuring Valdepeñas’ gorgeous clarinet sound, and the Seven Balkan Read more Dances by Tajcevic, a 20th century Yugoslav composer. The performance of these dances is highly spirited and showcases the artistry and virtuosity of the core ensemble. The program is punctuated by chants by the spiritual teacher George Gurdjieff, arranged for solo piano by Thomas de Hartmann. These contemplative pieces, sensitively played by Kradjian, act as a welcome foil to the larger, longer and more intense ensemble pieces.

The disc ends with a sensational solo piano work — Levante, by Osvaldo Golijov — brilliantly rendered by Kradjian. The string playing by Hetherington and guests is rhapsodic and committed and the whole disc exudes polish and thoughtful musicianship. Special mention should be made of Carlos Prieto’s engineering.

- The WholeNote (Toronto)

Thanks to brilliant, affecting performances, there isn’t a single piece among the 10 works represented that doesn’t deserve our attention. The album’s title, Levant, suggests the Middle East, but in fact this music represents many different crossing and meeting points, like bridges and ferries crossing the Bosphorous. None of the pieces or arrangements is cloying or artificial. They stand as self-sufficient pieces of music, played with utter conviction.

- Musical Toronto

This isn’t music that’s known outside its countries of origin. But thanks to powerful performances, all 10 pieces on this disc beckon enticingly. Although the emphasis is on the 20th century, most of this music is attractively tonal. All the performers manage to capture the roiling passions and exotic melismas in this eclectic program with power as well as elegance.

- The Toronto Star Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Pieces (2) for Orchestra, Op. 14: no 2, Ręverie orientale by Alexander Glazunov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amici Chamber Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
2.
Overture on Hebrew Themes for Clarinet, String Quartet and Piano in C minor, Op. 34 by Sergei Prokofiev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amici Chamber Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; USA 
3.
Armenian Song by George Gurdjieff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amici Chamber Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
4.
Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello by Gayané Chebotaryan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amici Chamber Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written:   
5.
Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello by Solhi Al-Wadithe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amici Chamber Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1975 
6.
Sayyid Chant and Dance No. 29, for folk instruments by George Gurdjieff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amici Chamber Ensemble
Period: Modern 
7.
Balkan Dances (7) for Clarinet, Cello and Piano by Marko Tajcevic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amici Chamber Ensemble
8.
Sayyid Chant and Dance No. 10, for folk instruments by George Gurdjieff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amici Chamber Ensemble
Period: Modern 
9.
Arabian Waltz by Rabih Abou-Khalil
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amici Chamber Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1995; Germany 
10.
Levante by Osvaldo Golijov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amici Chamber Ensemble

Sound Samples

2 Pieces, Op. 14: No. 2. Reverie orientale
Overture on Hebrew Themes, Op. 34
Armenian Song
Piano Trio
Piano Trio: II. Burlesque: Allegro
Piano Trio: IV. Adagio - Moderato - Adagio
Music of the Sayyids and the Dervishes, Series 3: No. 29. Sayyid Chant and Dance
7 Balkanskih igara (7 Balkan Dances) (arr. for clarinet trio): No. 1. Con moto
7 Balkanskih igara (7 Balkan Dances) (arr. for clarinet trio): No. 2. Rustico
7 Balkanskih igara (7 Balkan Dances) (arr. for clarinet trio): No. 3. Vivo
7 Balkanskih igara (7 Balkan Dances) (arr. for clarinet trio): No. 4. Sostenuto e cantabile
7 Balkanskih igara (7 Balkan Dances) (arr. for clarinet trio): No. 5. Allegro ritmico
7 Balkanskih igara (7 Balkan Dances) (arr. for clarinet trio): No. 6. Allegretto
7 Balkanskih igara (7 Balkan Dances) (arr. for clarinet trio): No. 7. Allegro quasi pesante
Music of the Sayyids and the Dervishes, Series 1: No. 10. Sayyid Chant and Dance
Arabian Waltz
Levante

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