Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Dino Saluzzi / Gidon Kremer / Andrei Puchkarev: Giya Kan...

246

Dino Saluzzi / Gidon Kremer / Andrei Puchkarev: Giya Kancheli: Themes from the Songbook

By

Sign in to view read count
Dino Saluzzi / Gidon Kremer / Andrei Puchkarev: Giya Kancheli: Themes from the Songbook
There is a potent element in the sophisticated pioneer spirit of ECM Records and its founder, Manfred Eicher, that is perfectly illustrated by this recording. Giya Kancheli (born 1935) is a Georgian composer who has produced, among other compositions, film and stage scores over the past 40 years. Kancheli transformed the elements of these scores into piano reductions he called Simple Music for Piano, subtitled "33 miniatures from Music for Stage and Screen."

Kancheli's son, Sandro, shortly before his father's 75th birthday, showed these scores to Eicher, who immediately thought would be of interest to Argentinian bandoneonist Dino Saluzzi, in preparing a tribute to the composer. Independently, violinist Gidon Kremer expressed a similar desire, working with vibraphonist Andrei Pushkarev from his ensemble Kremerata Baltica. Pushkarev ultimately recorded with both Saluzzi and Kremer separately, the results edited and engineered into the present recording. Such is the story of Eicher and ECM: East meeting West and North meeting South, all in the mind of a musical visionary.

Full orchestral music reduced to a chamber-sized format allows for the music's intimate anatomy exposed. Held together by Pushkarev's sensitive mallets, the compositions take on a pastoral life of their own: introspective, seeking, and improvised. Pushkarev's interaction with Saluzzi is captured and carefully displayed on the themes from When Almonds Blossomed (1972) and As You Like It (1978), each musician trading the lead with the other, peeking in every nook and cranny of the composition.

Likewise, Pushkarev's work with Kremer is almost empathic, alongside Saluzzi in the main theme from The Crucible (1965). The overused word "soundscape" remains most appropriate for the airy topology of the piece, where each instrument floats separately among and through one another. The instrument combination gives the music a fragrance of Eastern Europe by way of Vienna (Vienna, Argentina, that is). Eicher offers a glimpse of the music in its original orchestral/vocal form by reprising the disc's opener, "Herio Bichebo," from Earth, This is Your Son (1980), offering a nice contrast to the reduced version.

The alchemy involved in conceiving music like this, much less making it, is of a miracle variety. This project is beyond simple genius dispensed by virtuosi, its substance if of a whole other world, one that looks within rather than without, for those things previously missed or never considered.

Track Listing

Herio Bichebo from Earth, This Is Your Son; Theme from Bear's Kiss; Main theme from The Crucibles; Theme from As You Like It; Theme from Don Quixote Theme from Hamlet; Theme from King Lear Main theme from Kin-Dza-Dza Main theme from The Role For A Beginner; Theme from Twelfth Night Main theme from Cinema; Waltz from Richard III; Theme from Mimino; Main theme from When Almonds Blossomed; Waltz from The Eccentrics.

Personnel

Dino Saluzzi
bandoneon

Dino Saluzzi: bandoneon; Gidon Kremer: violin; Andrei Pushkarev: vibraphone.

Album information

Title: Giya Kancheli: Themes from the Songbook | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: ECM Records

Comments


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Tags

More

Blue Topaz
Peter Hand
Midnight Rose
Paul Rodgers
Open Me: A Higher Consciousness of Sound and...
Kahil El'Zabar's Ethnic Heritage Ensemble
Modern Art Trio
Franco D'Andrea, Franco Tonani, Bruno Tommaso.

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.