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Kancheli: Abii ne viderem
Giya Kancheli, Dennis Russell Davies, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra
Kancheli: Abii ne viderem
Genres: Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (3) - Disc #1


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CD Reviews

Kancheli's memory of time
Desert Girl | 07/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Abii ne viderem' (I turned away so as not to see) is comprised of 3 pieces - 'Morning Prayers' and 'Evening Prayers' (from a four-part cycle titled "Life without Christmas"), which frame the middle section 'Abii ne viderem,' from which the CD takes its name. This beautiful music burns with spiritual poignancy, anguish, and memory of lost time and childhood. In 'Morning Prayers', how can four notes played simply and slowly on the piano - F#, D, E, D, accompanied in the base by seven slowly ascending notes of the D Major scale reveal such sorrow and resignation of heart? This is the miracle of Kancheli's music. Mixed into this 23 minute meditation is the haunting taped voice of a young boy, singing like a voice from a grave floating over the stillness, and a small melody reminiscent of a child's wind-up music box played on a what seems to be an electronically altered piano. 'Morning Prayers' alone is worth the price of the CD. Rarely does music reflect the almost unspeakable, numinous quality of human memory. 'Abii ne viderem' (beginning with agitated strings and ending with what seems like a ringing telephone) and 'Evening Prayers' (dedicated to Schnittke), 25 minutes and 19 minutes long respectively, are that Kancheli mix of subdued, if not ominous, dream-like spaces suddenly split (or attacked) by loud, even frightening irruptions, like gun shots in some cases, as if the delicate fabric of existence could be shattered at any moment (the extremes of dynamics in Kancheli's music - the loud/soft thing - can play havoc with a sound system's speakers.) The finely written liner notes (Kancheli's liner notes are always philosophical), place Kancheli's music alongside that of Part, Schnittke, Gubaidulina, Silvestrov, and rightly so. He is included in that spectacular pantheon of Eastern European composers who have given us such deeply moving and spiritually-charged music. The musicians are tops on this recording: Kim Kashkashian on viola, The Hilliard Ensemble, Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, conducted by Dennis Russell Davies. This is a superb CD.

Haunting, volcanic Kancheli
Desert Girl | 05/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As always, Kancheli stuns and reaches quiet/violent sublime heights in his compositions. The title piece with Kashkashian, superb as ever on the viola, is amazing."
Profoundly Rewarding
Karl W. Nehring | Ostrander, OH USA | 07/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Having been disappointed in the past by a CD of some symphonies by the Georgian composer Giya Kancheli (b. 1935), I was not expecting much from Abii ne Viderem ("I turned away so as not to see"), I nearly turned away from this CD as so not to hear any more of his music, but lo and behold, what I heard was profoundly rewarding, and when I get time, I plan to reaudition some of his other works and see whether I judged too hastily a few years back. Kancheli is from Georgia, an ancient region that was for many years a captive of the Soviet Union, and his music is a blending of ancient and modern, something like Aarvo Pärt, but different, at once serene yet quietly disturbing. ECM has thoughtfully included a booklet with notes on the composer and the music, and has recorded this quiet music in a beautiful and appropriate acoustic."