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Misterioso: Part, Silvestrov, Ustvolskaya

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Biography

Alexei Lubimov is widely recognised as both a champion of new music and an insightful interpreter of classical and baroque music. In 1968 in Moscow he premiered new works by Terry Riley and John Cage, and through the 1970s specialized in early music, also an enduring passion. His first ECM recital “Der Bote” (2000) scans history from C.P.E. Bach to Valentin Silvestrov and Tigran ... Read more in Amazon's Alexei Lubimov Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Dec. 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ECM New Series
  • ASIN: B000GW8OT6
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,091 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov, Russian composer Galina Ustvolskaya: between them they indicate the vastness of the landscape of what is now called "post-Soviet" music. At the same time there are shared characteristics. These composers are united, firstly, in their originality. In its recordings, ECM has shown a special affinity for Pärt and Silvestrov. The label has helped to establish the musical reputation of both men, with meticulously-realised recordings. Pärt's albums count amongst the best-loved recordings of modern music. Silvestrov's, too, are gradually finding a wider and appreciative audience as ECM's documentation continues. Russian pianist Alexei Lubimov, now in his early sixties, has also had a close working relationship with both composers and is an important advocate for their art. He has appeared as soloist in such crucial ECM recordings as Pärt's Lamentate and Silvestrov's Postludium and Metamusik. Silvestrov's Der Bote was also the title track of Lubimov's universally-acclaimed recital disc. His beautiful, poetic touch is to the fore in all of these. Now he introduces a new chamber group who share sensitive performing and a commitment to this kind of repertoire.

Silvestrov's 1990 sonata Post Scriptum for violin and piano, and the 1996-composed Misterioso for clarinet solo (and piano). Misterioso is a world premiere recording.

Arvo Pärt's 2003 reworking of Spiegel im Spiegel for clarinet and piano, revised especially to feature Kyrill Rybakov's expressive clarinet - a world premiere recording. In its original violin and piano version Spiegel im Spiegel has proven to be one of the most popular pieces in the entire ECM catalogue, frequently requested for use in film, television and dance contexts.

Galina Ustvolskaya's Trio for clarinet, violin and piano (1945) and Violin Sonata (1952) are pieces that set new directions in music. Even Shostakovich acknowledged their influence.

Recorded 2005

Personnel:
Alexei Lubimov - (piano), Alexander Trostiansky - (violin), Kirill Rybakov - (clarinet)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By ami-momo on 8 Aug. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Its daunting the world of classical music and very exciting when you do not know your way. Here on this disc you can meet three great and important voices. For me the music of ustvolskaya is worth its weight in gold. Her works are hard to find and here you get to meet her and pick up beatuiful works by Part and Silvestrov. Its hard to go wrong...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Works by three Soviet and post-Soviet composers whose music, however varied, matches the ECM trend of subdued tones and silence 8 Nov. 2008
By Christopher Culver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This ECM disc, released in 2006, features chamber works by three composers from the former Soviet Union who wrote in an intensely personal style that yet remained informed by a tradition left behind by the international avant-garde. Kyrill Rybakov performs on clarinet, Alexander Trostiansky on violin and Alexei Lubimov on piano.

The Ukraine composer Valentin Silvestrov contributes two pieces. The first, "Post Scriptum" for violin and piano (1990) is typical of his late output. Meant as postludes to the Classical and Romantic transcriptions, works of this era are a fog of references to common-practice tonality, though undramatic and without any ultimate sense of closure. Lush melodies arise and fall in one voice, only to be picked up and carried forward for a bit by other voices at lower dynamic. Unfortunately, Silvestrov's music tends to suffer from excessive length. Sure, the first movement of "Post Scriptum" is lovely, but the second and third feel completely unnecessary, as if he's just milking it.

Silvestrov's "Misterioso" (1996) is a rather different work indeed, though it preserves his general feel for harmonies. The first mystery that we confront is that though it's scored for "clarinet solo", there's an obligatory piano part that the clarinetist must also play. The piano incessantly sounds out loud chords, while the clarinet plays in response. As the work goes on, the clarinet's sound becomes increasingly wispy through extended techniques. This sort of work goes to show that Silvestrov's late period, for all its imperfections, is far from a simple retread of anything already accomplished. He's still making original explorations.

Arvo Part's "Spiegel im Spiegel" (Mirror in Mirror, 1978) is one of the Estonian composer's great works of "holy minimalism". Having been arranged for several pairs of instruments, it is present here in the version for clarinet and piano. In this extremely elegant piece, the piano keeps a constant cadence against which the string instrument sweeps. The result hints at something immensely spiritual, like seeing two lovers gaze into each other's eyes. Part was later to shake up this joining of loving voices with the faster-moving "Fratres" piece, arranged for a number of different instruments over the years, but this contemplative early effort has a beautiful clarity. Lubimov takes the piano part very fast here, and I must say I prefer the slower tempo of Sergej Bezrodny on the ECM Part disc ALINA.

If Silvestrov sounds like he's desparately trying to return to the Romantic tradition to avoid facing the fragmentation of modern music, Galina Ustvolskaya inherited the Romantic tradition and led a subdued rebellion against it. The "Trio for Clarinet, Violin and Piano" (1949) and the "Sonata for Violin and Piano" (1952) were the first works I've heard by the composer. In the Trio, careful interaction between the instruments in the first two movements gives way to mournful gushing by the violin in the last. The Sonata inhabits the world of Shostakovich's chamber music. All in all, I can't get into Ustvolskaya's music much. It reminds me of the generic Soviet early modernism that Gubaidulina, Schnittke and Part passed through before finding their original voices.

This disc will appeal to a certain demographic of modern classical listeners, probably those who already have the label's Part and Silvestrov works in their libraries.
12 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Unique and Provocative 17 Feb. 2007
By PrescottJer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A fine, sometimes stunning and haunting, performance which satisfies more after several listenings.
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