on 19 July 2009
These two single-movement symphonies by Georgian composer Giya Kancheli generate extremes of feeling. Tranquil and nostalgic moments drift and soar like a gull on the wind only to intermittently nose-dive into triumphant and angry explosions of power and vitality. The result is stimulating to say the least. Enchanting then epic, beautiful then brutal, innocent then aggressive. In short: two entertaining symphonies of bracing dichotomies....
on 7 March 2013
These are Melodiya recordings from 1978. They first surfaced in the west in the '80s under the Olympia label (which also brought us the Rozhdestvensky Shostakovich series).
Nonesuch seems to have got hold of the rights since the early nineties and the music is now made available to us at this bargain price - only as a download.
Kancheli was viewed by many as the successor to Shostakovich, perhaps because these two symphonies were composed in 1975 and 1977 shortly after the death of DSCH. Others may have assumed that mantle since these symphonies were written and recorded, but these are impressive pieces of music - well worth the effort of negotiating the fluff of the ubiquitous Amazon Cloud.
Luckily for Giya Kancheli he was born a couple of generations after Stalin. His fellow Georgian may not have been as amused by this thoughtful music.