- Performer: Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Anja Lechner
- Orchestra: Amsterdam Sinfonietta
- Conductor: Candida Thompson
- Composer: Tigran Mansurian
- Audio CD (31 Mar. 2014)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: ECM New Series
- ASIN: B00I87XB9O
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,565 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Tigran Mansurian: Quasi parlando
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Quasi Parlando is an important addition to ECM's documentation of the work of Tigran Mansurian, an often breathtaking account of highly original contemporary chamber orchestra music. Issued in the wake of his 75th birthday, the album presents four works for soloists and strings, and marks the ECM debut of the Moldovan violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, winner of the 2013 Gramophone Awards 'Record of the Year'.
It opens with the Armenian composer's fiercely-concentrated Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and String Orchestra, and proceeds to new music performed by its dedicatees: the lyrical Romance, dedicated to Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and the intensely expressive Quasi Parlando, dedicated to German cellist Anja Lechner. Both are world premiere recordings, as is the Violin Concerto No 2, subtitled Four Serious Songs, which concludes the programme. Throughout, the soloists deliver committed performances, as does the Amsterdam Sinfonietta under the direction of Candida Thompson.
In terms of textural density, Mansurian's music has seen some changes in the thirty years that separate the composing of the Double Concerto and the Four Serious Songs, but his aesthetic stance has been consistent, both works sharing an immediacy of expression and rigorous creative will. At the same time, the composer encourages a degree of creative freedom from his music's interpreters: "What is important is what the music needs, not what I need", he said in a talk at the Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, immediately before the recording of these pieces in October 2012.
Tigran Mansurian's music was first heard on ECM with the recording Hayren (released in 2003), where his pieces were brought together with music of his great formative influence, the ethnologist, composer and priest, Komitas. Subsequent Mansurian recordings include Monodia, the String Quartets, and the choral album Ars Poetica.
Personnel: Patricia Kopatchinskaja (violin), Anja Lechner (cello), Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Candida Thompson (leader, conductor)
Top Customer Reviews
The Double Concerto has two Largo movements, the first building up to a climax of sorts (the only quicker music on this disc, next to the short Allegro movement in the Violin Concerto); the second featuring a slowly evolving dialogue between violin and cello, in harmony with each other. The next two pieces, respectively for violin and cello next to the ensemble and written within a year of each other, are pretty similar. Both have these seemingly never repeated searching string lines and at times try to convey a sense of mystery. The final composition (his second Violin Concerto) to me is the strongest piece musically, it has some genuinely memorable ideas and that bit more structure to it.
The booklet makes much of the composer’s Armenian background and discovery of its folk music, but any trace of that is well hidden away. This is pure music that is evidently deeply felt and thought out but which can stand on its own legs.