Mansurian: Monodia

Mansurian: Monodia

by Kim Kashkashian
     
 

The ECM label has a virtual monopoly on bringing new music from the former Soviet Union to listeners worldwide. Their track record of discoveries is nearly impeccable, and Armenian composer Tigran Mansurian is a fascinating recent find. An earlier album, Hayren, offered a tantalizing taste of his music, but on Monodia, Mansurian gets the deluxe treatmentSee more details below

Overview

The ECM label has a virtual monopoly on bringing new music from the former Soviet Union to listeners worldwide. Their track record of discoveries is nearly impeccable, and Armenian composer Tigran Mansurian is a fascinating recent find. An earlier album, Hayren, offered a tantalizing taste of his music, but on Monodia, Mansurian gets the deluxe treatment with lovingly performed and produced renditions of four major works. Another Armenian musician provides a thread through much of the program: Kim Kashkashian, who surely elicits more beautiful sounds from the viola than anyone else. "...and then I was in time again," Mansurian's 1995 concerto for viola and string orchestra, takes its title from Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury and proceeds in a stream-of-consciousness fashion akin to that novel's style. Kashkashian's commanding performance never loses the musical thread, however, bringing a sharp, dramatic edge to the first movement and a sumptuous, lyrical tone to its shorter aftermath. Both in this work and the earlier Violin Concerto (1981) -- the thorny solo line is played brilliantly here by Leonidas Kavakos -- Mansurian's style is distant from the easy-listening mysticism of many recent eastern European composers. This is occasionally difficult music, but a melodic basis in Armenian folk music contributes to its appeal, as does a palpable emotional immediacy. In these ways, among others, Mansurian is a true heir to Béla Bartók. A second disc brings Kashkashian back for two very different works. Lachrymae (1999) pairs her viola with Jan Garbarek's soprano saxophone in a quiet lamentation, creating a mood that carries over into Confessing with Faith (1998), for viola and four voices. The Hillard Ensemble join Kashkashian in exploring the roots of Armenian sacred music that Mansurian weaves throughout this meditative work, which is just as beautiful and as uncompromising as all the other music featured here.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
The intense music of Tigran Mansurian is well-served by this handsome ECM double-disc. Largely through the efforts of violist Kim Kashkashian, an ardent advocate of Mansurian's work, this album serves as a portrait of the composer and as evidence of this performer's unswerving commitment. Mansurian's works are serious essays built on Armenian folk songs and ancient chants, elaborated in a consistent, modernist language. Dense strata and aggressive outbursts mark ."..and then I was in time again," Mansurian's "Concerto for viola and orchestra." Kashkashian and the Munich Chamber Orchestra, directed by Christoph Poppen, convey the work's tragic import and pensive detachment with great sensitivity. Leonidas Kavakos is the heroic soloist in the "Concerto for violin and string orchestra," a work of more conventional soloistic writing, yet effective in its agitation and passionate expression. "Lachrymae" features Jan Garbarek on soprano saxophone in an intertwined duet with Kashkashian. Perhaps because of its brevity and thin material, this piece is the least compelling of the disc. In "Confessing With Faith," for viola and four voices, the Hilliard Ensemble joins Kashkashian in what is the most immediately accessible work, since traditional choral textures and modal harmonies underpin Kashkashian's moving part. ECM's sound is superb, with attention paid to capturing the live acoustic without blurring lines.
Time Out New York - Steve Smith
Kashkashian's throaty, burnished tone cuts straight to the heart of "...and Then I Was in Time Again," a concerto that vividly depicts a sense of the isolation and timelessness Mansurian found in Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury.... [In the Violin Concerto] and throughout Monodia, Mansurian conjures a spare, absorbing beauty that richly repays pondering.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/30/2004
Label:
Ecm Import
UPC:
0028947278429
catalogNumber:
472784
Rank:
130958

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. ...and then I was in time again, concerto for viola & orchestra  - Tigran Mansurian  - Tigran Mansurian  - Tigran Mansurian  - Jan Garbarek  - Rogers Covey-Crump  - Tatjana Frumkis  - Steven Harrold  - Gordon Jones  -  Münchener Kammerorchester  - Kim Kashkashian  - Kim Kashkashian  - Kim Kashkashian  - Rüdiger Lotter  - Christoph Poppen  - Stefan Berg  - Eileen Walliser-Schwarzbart  - Bettina Blumenberg  - Jean-Noël van der Weid  - Muriel Cantoreggi  - Muriel Cantoreggi  - Nancy Sullivan  - Peter Bachmann  - Peter Bachmann  - Anthony Manzo  - Anthony Manzo  - Michael Weiss  - Mary Mader  -  David James
  2. Concerto for violin & string orchestra  - Tigran Mansurian  - Tigran Mansurian  - Tigran Mansurian  - Jan Garbarek  - Rogers Covey-Crump  - Tatjana Frumkis  - Steven Harrold  - Gordon Jones  -  Münchener Kammerorchester  - Kim Kashkashian  - Kim Kashkashian  - Kim Kashkashian  - Leonidas Kavakos  - Rüdiger Lotter  - Christoph Poppen  - Stefan Berg  - Eileen Walliser-Schwarzbart  - Bettina Blumenberg  - Jean-Noël van der Weid  - Muriel Cantoreggi  - Muriel Cantoreggi  - Nancy Sullivan  - Peter Bachmann  - Peter Bachmann  - Anthony Manzo  - Anthony Manzo  - Michael Weiss  - Mary Mader  -  David James
  3. Lachrymae, for soprano saxophone & viola  - Tigran Mansurian  - Tigran Mansurian  - Tigran Mansurian  - Jan Garbarek  - Rogers Covey-Crump  - Tatjana Frumkis  - Steven Harrold  - Gordon Jones  - Kim Kashkashian  - Kim Kashkashian  - Kim Kashkashian  - Rüdiger Lotter  - Christoph Poppen  - Stefan Berg  - Eileen Walliser-Schwarzbart  - Bettina Blumenberg  - Jean-Noël van der Weid  - Muriel Cantoreggi  - Muriel Cantoreggi  - Nancy Sullivan  - Peter Bachmann  - Peter Bachmann  - Anthony Manzo  - Anthony Manzo  - Michael Weiss  - Mary Mader  -  David James
  4. Confessing with Faith, 7 prayers from St. Nerses Shnorhali's Prayer-book for viola & 4 voices  - Tigran Mansurian  - Tigran Mansurian  - Tigran Mansurian  - Jan Garbarek  - Rogers Covey-Crump  - Tatjana Frumkis  - Steven Harrold  -  Hilliard Ensemble  - Gordon Jones  - Kim Kashkashian  - Kim Kashkashian  - Kim Kashkashian  - Rüdiger Lotter  - Christoph Poppen  - Stefan Berg  - Eileen Walliser-Schwarzbart  - Bettina Blumenberg  - Jean-Noël van der Weid  - Nerses Shnorhali  - Muriel Cantoreggi  - Muriel Cantoreggi  - Nancy Sullivan  - Peter Bachmann  - Peter Bachmann  - Anthony Manzo  - Anthony Manzo  - Michael Weiss  - Mary Mader  -  David James

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