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A generous recital

Vadim Gluzman plays Schnittke, Pärt, Vasks and Kancheli,
recommended by

BIS    BIS-CD-1392

time ... and again. Pärt, Vasks, Schnittke, Kancheli. Vadim Gluzman, Angela Yoffe. © 2004 BIS Records AB

These violin favourites of 20th Century Russia and the Baltic are a far cry from musical 'lollipops' that dominated the latter half of recitals a generation ago -- 'classic' encore-sized pieces from Bazzini, Vieuxtemps, Wieniawski, Sarasate, Kreisler and others. Here we have equally winning programming; a truly treasurable disc with impressive advocates -- Israeli violinist Vadim Gluzman and Latvian pianist Angela Yoffe.

To date the two items of Arvo Pärt; Fratres and Spiegel im Spiegel [listen -- track 8, 0:01-1:24], have gained widespread public acceptance more completely than music of Schnittke, Vasks or Kancheli. And as sleeve note writer Per F Broman observes Henryk Gorecki's 3rd Symphony which found immense popularity in the early 1990s, may have paved the way for a new, contemplative, anti-modernistic tonal tradition, typified by both Gorecki and John Tavener.

Schnittke's enchanting Suite in the Old Style (ie Baroque -- 1972) written for Russian screen director Elem Klimov's 1965 feature, The Adventures of a Dentist (a political allegory), catches us off guard with fleeting 20th century devices [listen -- track 5, 1:13-2:11]. Hopefully it will gain an increased following through the present disc plus Vladimir Spivakov's chamber version with the Moscow Virtuosi (RCA). The early Schnittke 'Fugue for Solo Violin' (1953) reveals his mastery of form while still a teenager.

At times in Vasks' six-movement Little Summer Music violin and piano align in folk-like dance tunes; in other places -- some of them aleatory in character -- the instruments are out of kilter. In this Gluzman and Yoffe are clearly at home.

Kancheli's cerebral, concerto-length work, Time ... and again (1996) [listen -- track 15, 24:42-25:53] is deeply introspective. A commission for the Schubert bicenntenial concerts at London's Barbican (1997) the single-movement follows a traditional pattern and the composer refers to it as 'a farewell to a particular period of my life which was filled with fractious thoughts, irreplaceable losses and new feelings I had never before experienced'. A generous recital -- not to be missed.

Copyright © 3 September 2005 Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand


Time ... and again - Vadim Gluzman

BIS-CD-1392 DDD Stereo FIRST RELEASE 79'43" 2004 BIS Records AB

Vadim Gluzman, violin; Angela Yoffe, piano

Alfred Schnittke (1934-98): Suite in the Old Style for violin and piano (1972); Fugue for solo violin (1953); Arvo Pärt (born 1935): Fratres for violin and piano (1977/1980); Spiegel im Spiegel for violin and piano (1978); Peteris Vasks (born 1946): Little Summer Music for violin and piano (1985); Giya Kancheli (born 1935): Time ... and again for violin and piano (1996)




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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular series of shorter CD reviews