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The Russian Seasons

Gidon Kremer Audio CD

Price: £15.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Over the course of more than 30 years of a distinguished career, violinist Gidon Kremer, born in Riga in 1947, has established a worldwide reputation as one of the most original and compelling artists of his generation, praised for his high degree of individualism, his rejection of the well-trodden paths of interpretation, and his search for new possibilities. Gidon Kremer has made more than ... Read more in Amazon's Gidon Kremer Store

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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Spring "Christovskaya" (Dominical) 2:41£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Spring "Kachulnaya" (Lullaby) 2:29£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Spring "Jagoryevskaya" (Song for St George's Day) 4:27£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Summer "Platsch s kukoschkoy" (Lament with Cuckoo) 2:09£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Summer "Dukhovskaya" (Song for Whitsuntide) 4:25£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Summer "Tolotnaya" 3:18£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Autumn "Postovaya" (Song for Ember Days) 3:56£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Autumn "Vosennaya" (Autumn Song) 2:04£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Autumn "Svadebskaya" (Nuptial Song) 3:42£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Winter "Sviatoshnaya" (Song for Christmastide)0:53£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Winter "Maslennaya" (Song for Shrovetide) 1:45£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Winter "Posledniaya" (Closing Song) 4:21£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. The Seasons Digest, January, At the Fireplace 2:40£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. The Seasons Digest, February, Carnival0:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. The Seasons Digest, March, Lark's Song 1:13£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen16. The Seasons Digest, April, Snow-drop 1:24£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen17. The Seasons Digest, May, White Nights 1:36£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen18. The Seasons Digest, June, Barcarole 1:49£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen19. The Seasons Digest, July, Reaper's Song 1:41£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen20. The Seasons Digest, August, The Harvest0:51£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen21. The Seasons Digest, September, The Hunt 1:20£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen22. The Seasons Digest, October, Autumn Song 2:12£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen23. The Seasons Digest, November, Troika Ride 1:35£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen24. The Seasons Digest, December, Christmas 2:05£0.79  Buy MP3 

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Desyatnikov atmospheric, Raskatov a mere spoof 23 April 2013
By Discophage - Published on
Format:Audio CD
An interesting endeavor by the ever-entreprising Kremer and friends, recorded in December 2001. After Vivaldi and Piazzolla: Eight Seasons, his Nonesuch disc mixing Vivaldi's Four Seaons and Astor Piazzola's "The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires" in an arrangement by Leonid Desyatnikov (2000), he further explores here the concept of The Seasons, now Russian, with more arrangements by Desyantikov and Alexander Raskatov.

Desyatnikov's "The Russian Seasons" are based on texts and songs from the collection "Traditional Music from the Russian Lake District". He uses the Vivaldi scoring for string orchestra and violin solo, to which he adds a soprano voice. According to the liner notes, "as the composer explains, the orchestra is transformed into a sort of peasant chorus, to which he gives an unperformerd text that is sung only towards the end of the work. The violin assumes the role of the solo singer emerging from the chorus". As in Vivaldi's Seasons, Desyatnikov arranges his in a cycle of four three-movement micro-cycles "whose meaning emerges in the verbal texts. Unlike Vivaldi's concertos, though, the movement headings and the background text are less concerned with the natural cycle of the seasons than with the rituals of the Orthodox church year, and revolve around such themes as love, separation and death. According to Desyatnikov, one of the work's hidden subjects is memento mori".

The music is quite beautiful and atmospheric. Its style draws on minimalism, it reminded me at times of Cage's - how appropriate - String Quartet "The Seasons", sometimes of the world-music-inspired string quartets of Terry Riley, sometimes of Stravinsky's Soldier's Tale (track 11 "Song for Shrovetide"). It isn't the masterpiece Kremer says it is, but it is entertaining and enjoyable.

"The Seaons Digest", Alexander Raskatov's elaboration on Tchaikovsky's intimate piano piano cycle "The Seasons", isn't as convincing. It isn't just an orchestration: that would have been too banal. Rather than "elaboration", "spoof" might migh an appropriate description. Tchaikovsky's cycle was published in a monthly magazine, accompanied (like Vivaldi's Four Seasons with his own sonnets) by short poems of various authors. The spirit in which Rastakov approached it is shown by his own commenting lines (alas just a few samples are given in the liner notes):

"March: Song of the Lark"

Original poem by A. Maykov: "Light and radiance from heaven / Cover the sleeping flowers; / The song of a spring lark / Rings out in the bright blue vault".

Raskatov's Commentary: "Dreary thaw weather, An old lark, still alive by a miracle, greets the death of nature. The shades of other, dead larks join unseen in his song."

So, it sounds like the sonic equivalent of painting moustaches to the Mona Lisa (although Tchaikovsky's cycle can't anywhere be compared to the Mona Lisa), or even more like pissing on the Mona Lisa.

What Raskatov did with Tchaikovsky's cycle would remind you perhaps of Schnittke with baroque music, except that the original material of Tchaikovsky is more trite - sentimental romantic salon music - and what remains of it in Rastakov's elaboration remains that way (Grieg also comes to mind), and Rastakov doesn't even try to treat it seriously and dramatically as Schnittke did with his own, but just in the sprit of a spoof. It is entertaining and fun, but it sounds really like a sophisticated version of what every music student likes to do once in a while: clowning with serious music.

It's two stars for Raskatov, four for Desyatnikov, and a one-star nudge up to salut Kremer's spirit of entreprise.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This recording makes 12 seasons of Kremer's brilliant violin playing 31 Mar 2009
By Alex - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Gidon Kremer and his Kremerata Baltica is the common thread. Their recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons and of Piazzolla's Four Seasons in Buenos Aires is entitled "Eight Seasons". Their Russian Seasons recording was just right to complement a lecture about spring described by music. The range of expression by the Russian repertoire exactly contrasts the well-know sounds of the Vivaldi seasons and the perhaps lesser-known work of Piazzolla that incorporates a new tango. For me, The Russian Seasons is a classic, especially in perspective of contrasts with other ethnomusicological output.
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