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Karabits: Concertos For Orchestra 1-3 (Kirill Karabits, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra) (Naxos: 8572633)

Ivan Karabits Audio CD
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Product Description

Product Description

Following Ukraines independence in 1991, Ivan Karabits became the countrys leading musical figure. An inspirational composer, artistic director and teacher, he absorbed into his own music three particular traditions: Mahler, Shostakovich, and the folk-music of his native country. The colourful, virtuosic and at times theatrical Concertos for Orchestra reflect the influence of his friend and mentor, Rodion Shchedrin. Following Karabits untimely death, his compatriot Valentin Silvestrov composed two heartfelt memorials. The first of these, Elegie, makes use of Karabits own unfinished pencil sketches which sit side by side with Silvestrovs own ideas as the piece progresses, almost as if it were a dialogue between the two friends about their work.

Karabits was an inspiring figure, but his music has not been much recorded. These three Concertos for Orchestra reveal diverse influences, such as Mahler, Shostakovich and folk music, and they are both brilliantly conceived and richly, indeed virtuosically orchestrated modern orchestral music rooted in tradition.

Kirill Karabits was appointed Principal Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in 2009, his contract extended to the end of the 2015/16 season. He is the son of the composer Ivan Karabits.


In the last decade of his life, Ivan Karabits, who died in 2002, became a dominant figure in the music of the newly independent Ukraine. He was professor of composition at the conservatory in Kiev, and while his own music very obviously descends from the Soviet tradition of Shostakovich and Shchedrin, these recordings of his three Concertos for Orchestra, conducted by his son Kirill, principal director of the Bournemouth Symphony, show it has a quirkiness all its own. Both the first and third concertos bear subtitles, suggesting a programmatic element, but much of the music seems designed for orchestral show and there are strikingly surreal moments in all three works the inclusion of textures and colours, like the appearance of a harpsichord in the opening section of the second concerto that seem deliberately disorientating. Karabits Jr completes the disc with two pieces for strings composed in memory of his father by Valentin Silvestrov: a touching Elegie woven out of sketches for a work that Karabits did not live to complete, and the two-movement Abschiedsserenade, which is haunted by Mahlerian ghosts. *** --Guardian, 21/03/13

"This CD is doubly welcome…The BSO seems eagerly responsive to the many opportunities presented by these works to display both individual and collective virtuosity…Naxos's engineering captures the colour and brilliance of all these unusual works and is lifelike at all dynamic levels." --International Record Review, June 2013

'The music from both composers is distinctive, thoughtful and inventive, and clearly not simple a recapitulation of Soviet orchestral compositions of the same period. Karabit's music constantly explores new ground. Silvestrov's works in particular are immediately accessible, but all worth hearing.' ***** --Scotland on Sunday, 09/03/2014, Alexander Bryce
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