Any album of music by the Georgian composer Giya Kancheli is eagerly awaited by a wide audience receptive to his particular, post-Soviet voice, which has touched the hearts and minds of many thousands of listeners through his music for both film and concert hall during a career spanning seven decades and the rise and fall of Communism. Kancheli’s music tends to be associated with particular artists, who have been eloquent advocates for his work: the conductor Djansug Kakhidze, the violinist Gidon Kremer and violist Uri Bashmet, all of whom have shown long-standing dedication and thorough understanding of an idiom that requires some patience and deep concentration on the part of both performers and listeners to reap rewards.
The two Italian musicians on this album may be considered to have joined their number, from the composer’s personal and effusive imprimatur of this album: ‘Your performance and particularly your interpretation made an indelible impression on me,’ he writes. ‘The breathing, the freedom and the inspiration I heard are impossible to convey with the notes on the staff. I think that you managed to catch exactly what I could only dream of!’
The miniatures derive from the many scores of incidental music which Kancheli composed for plays and films in the Eastern bloc during the 1960s and 70s. The theme music for When Almonds Blossomed has achieved a certain popularity in its own right, but fans both of Kancheli’s music, and memorable if melancholy-tinged film music, will be delighted to discover there is much more in the same vein.
Cortesi’s own booklet note testifies to his passion for Kancheli’s music: ‘Giya Kancheli is the utmost ‘human’ composer. But his music does not give knowledgeable answers about the world or rigid truths. It is so intensely oriented towards delicate or despairing gestures of humanity which forgets to explore the frontiers of contemporary language or experimentation. And it is with this renouncing of virtuosity that something extraordinary and mysterious happens: it speaks to our souls through us.’
The complete recording of the Miniatures for violin and piano by Kancheli! Giya Kancheli is a Georgian composer whose intensely personal style is related to Minimalism and the New Spirituality.
His Miniatures for violin and piano are like short stories, evocative, ironic, poetic and dramatic. The themes are inspired by the cinema and the theatre. Kancheli nearly always asks to play pianissimo and very slow, in order to eventually disconnect with the instrument and enter another dimension of time and sound.
Played with total dedication and intensity by violinist Andrea Cortesi and pianist Marco Venturi, who already successfully recorded for Brilliant Classics works by Glass, Tüür and Kancheli (BC94814).
Kancheli himself was very impressed by the present recording, he wrote to the musicians: “Your performance and particularly your interpretation made an indelible impression on me. The breathing, the freedom and the inspiration I heard are impossible to convey with the notes on the staff. I think that you managed to catch exactly what I could only dream of! Please pass on my very special thanks also to the wonderful sound engineer. With gratitude and best wishes, Giya Kancheli.“