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Kancheli: Time...and Again; Schnittke, Etc / Gluzman, Yoffe

Release Date: 07/27/2004 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1392   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Alfred SchnittkeArvo Pärt
Performer:  Vadim GluzmanAngela Yoffe
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

While the repertoire on this disc is chronologically and geographically circumscribed, it nevertheless offers abundant variety of mood and texture. Alfred Schnittke's Suite in the Old Style (1972), an affectionate exercise in neo-classicism, is the opening gambit. Indeed, Schnittke takes what might best be described as a late-Romantic view of the Classical style, and the music is closer in spirit to, say, Grieg's Holberg Suite than to Stravinsky's Pulcinella. By contrast, Giya Kancheli's Time...and again (1996), the closing selection, is built entirely from stark, jarring juxtapositions that create a feeling of perpetual dislocation (though some of the individual ideas are quite attractive). And
Read more it's this relentless shifting that creates the surface tension necessary to shore up the work's expansive structure. In between the Schnittke and Kancheli, two relative extremes, comes the mesmerizing minimalism of Arvo Pärt's Fratres (1977) and Spiegel im spiegel (1978) and the rustic, quasi-Bartókian Little Summer Music (1946) of Peteris Vasks.

It's an intriguing and thoroughly compelling program, and one that's greatly enhanced by the performances. Israeli violinist Vadim Gluzman's tone is sweetly sensuous in the Schnittke, and there are moments, such as the opening of the Pantomime movement, that are positively ravishing. Yet he also digs below the music's surface, finding a nostalgic ache in the final bars that places the piece squarely in the 20th century. In Pärt's work, Gluzman's pure, finely-spun tone is an even more valuable asset. Here, however, he is less overtly expressive, allowing the music to unfold with a sense of naturalness and inevitability.

> Vasks' Little Summer Music is fresh and improvisatory, with a pleasing sense of give and take between Gluzman and pianist Angela Yoffe. And in the Kancheli, both musicians make the most of the music's large gestures and dramatic turnabouts, with Yoffe taking obvious delight in the tintinnabular passages. Perhaps the opening of Schnittke's early Fugue for solo violin (1953) is a bit stodgy, though Gluzman quickly cranks up the intensity. All in all, this is an exceptionally impressive and beautifully recorded recital, one that should win friends not just for this repertoire but for these superb musicians as well.

– Andrew Farach-Colton, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Suite in the old style by Alfred Schnittke
Performer:  Vadim Gluzman (Violin), Angela Yoffe (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1972; USSR 
Fugue for Violin by Alfred Schnittke
Performer:  Vadim Gluzman (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953; Moscow 
Fratres by Arvo Pärt
Performer:  Vadim Gluzman (Violin), Angela Yoffe (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977-1980; Estonia 
Length: 9 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Spiegel im Spiegel by Arvo Pärt
Performer:  Vadim Gluzman (Violin), Angela Yoffe (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1978; USSR 
Length: 8 Minutes 17 Secs. 

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