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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 3 August 2013
I remember how saddened I was by the passing of Henryk Gorecki, and thinking then that I hoped Arvo Part would still have a good few years left in him to write more wonderful music. I wondered if any younger composers would come along who would move me in the way that these two have - and now, by chance, on an Amazon recommendation, I find this CD, featuring works by a composer mere months younger than me, who I was previously unaware of.

There are moments throughout this album where I'm reminded of Gorecki and Part, but Tabakova's writing style is still very much her own. I love string pieces that feel invigorating, and are striking and powerful, and thus find myself listening to this disc on a daily basis, spellbound. The only work featured that I'm not 100% connecting with at the moment is the Suite in Old Style; I'm starting to think however that this is just its placement in the running order, and when listening to it on its own it's starting to make sense. All in all, this is a highly recommended release showcasing some wonderful work by the composer.
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It is interesting how you can sometimes hear a composer speaking about their music and their approach to composition and know immediately their music will have something to offer you. This was what happened when I heard Dobrinka Tabakova speaking about her music when she was featured on Radio 3's Composer of the Week programme earlier this year. This was part of BBC Radio 3's celebration of female composers for International Women's Day where Donald Macleod spoke to five members of a new generation of British composers about their work. Tabakova was one of these and it was so refreshing to hear a young composer say that she had no wish to produce music that was in a unique style as she felt in doing so she would limit what she could write and was happy to take freely from the classical past it when she found it worked for with the music she's composing.

And my thoughts on the music itself? Tabakova's music is rich, complex and frequently soulful. Her music modern but appealing to ears (such as mine) that are more adapted to styles of earlier times.

I have no hesitation in recommending this disc.
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on 25 May 2013
Powerful, lyrical, moving - above all, interesting music. The haunting theme that is revisited time and again in the 16-minute-long conclusion to the album, `Such Different Paths', is stunning. Tabakova is one of the best young composers working today.
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on 12 February 2014
I have had this cd for a couple of months now and really enjoying it. Tabakova's Easter European roots are very clear, but the influences are subtle and add interest to the music. I particularly enjoy Frozen River Flows and Such Different Paths, though the outstanding work is the Concerto for Cello and Strings. There is a very memorable theme threaded throughout the three movements, the second movement, Longing, is especially haunting. I wouldn't be surprised if it finds its way onto a film soundtrack - this is not to diminish its quality, because it is a very moving piece.

I understand other reviewer's comments about Suite in Old Style, and though different it works very well for me. Again, there is an Eastern European feel to parts of it, but there is also a sense of Russia and Northern Europe - it reminds me of Schnittke, Shostakovich and others.

The playing and the production are exceptional. The sound is very clear, well balanced and open - a definite sense of light and space around this music. I am really looking forward to Tabakova's next works - it would be fascinating to see how she would score for a larger orchestra.
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on 25 February 2014
There is little to add that has not been said in the media already about this incredible album from the (relatively) young composer Dobrinka Tabakova. It's worth was recognized with several prestigious prizes last year and a host of people - like yours truly - standing in awe. I have little doubt that it is on its way to becoming an ECM classic as we speak. A wonderful piece of contemporary string music that remains true to its Slavonic roots without being stuck to them. As always, the impeccable recording by ECM does Tabakova's genius every justice.

Do yourself a favor and get a copy. You will not be disappointed.
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on 24 March 2014
This music is from a Bulgarian composer born in 1980. It has the capacity to drag one through the rear of a wardrobe into Narnia. It's rich string symphonies create purple passages through the peaks & valleys of the imagination, not unlike the sensation of reading Keats or Byron for the first time.
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on 22 January 2014
If you love modern composers like Adams and Torke, buy this disk. And if some of the BBC's late-night nonsense has persuaded you that you can't take modern music, buy this disk and learn otherwise. I wasn't entirely sure about the cello concerto, which I shall have to listen to more carefully, but otherwise this was a delight. And how many composers are equally at home writing for both harpsichord and accordion?
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on 26 September 2014
I've no idea how I found this music but I'm so glad that I did. The second movement of the concerto for cello is particularly beautiful, with its sweeping melodies and emotional intensity. Surely the concerto will be classed as one of the great works for cello, alongside those of Elgar and Shostakovich. Some of the pieces make me smile, others make me close my eyes and pay attention. Since buying my copy of the CD, I've bought 4 others as gifts for friends. I'm sorry that I can't afford to buy a copy for you all but, if you buy your own, you will not be disappointed.
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on 3 October 2013
The headline says it all. I do urge all inquisitive listeners to sample this very beautiful, striking , yet often understated, music. It's a joy from beginning to end.
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on 19 October 2013
you can always rely on ECM to find someone new to bring to our attention, this music is contemplative and lyrical with great depth. The recording is of the usual ECM high standard and a real joy. Buy it.
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