Provenance

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ned Raggett
Taking the well-established route of solo explorations in between any number of collaborative appearances, cellist Maya Beiser continues in her exploration of a wide variety of compositional impulses. The earliest track that surfaced from the album was also the most familiar -- a reworking of Led Zeppelin's stately "Kashmir," which keeps the familiar elegance of the hard rock warhorse while bringing out the sense of the song's roots in Middle Eastern musics. Here it appears as the calm conclusion for Provenance, but the other selections are the more compelling as a result. Djavan Gasparyan contributes "Memories," very much in the vein of much of the Armenian composer's work...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ned Raggett
Taking the well-established route of solo explorations in between any number of collaborative appearances, cellist Maya Beiser continues in her exploration of a wide variety of compositional impulses. The earliest track that surfaced from the album was also the most familiar -- a reworking of Led Zeppelin's stately "Kashmir," which keeps the familiar elegance of the hard rock warhorse while bringing out the sense of the song's roots in Middle Eastern musics. Here it appears as the calm conclusion for Provenance, but the other selections are the more compelling as a result. Djavan Gasparyan contributes "Memories," very much in the vein of much of the Armenian composer's work on duduk; hearing Beiser apply her preferred instrument to the slow swoop of the composition is equally compelling listening. In contrast, "I Was There," written by Kayhan Kalhor, balances between a similarly slow unfolding of an arrangement, a sense of a steady muse via Beiser's performance as well as that of her collaborators on percussion and electronics, and sudden quick bursts of energy, always set against distant sonic textures. The addition of guitar as a counterpoint is a sudden thrill as the whole arrangement then becomes more upbeat and gently celebratory set against the steadier drumming. It's the standout of the disc as a whole, though the melodramatic "Mar de Leche," thanks to its guest vocals adding a romantic tinge, has its own compelling edge as well.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/25/2010
  • Label: Innova Records
  • UPC: 726708677824
  • Catalog Number: 778
  • Sales rank: 1,510

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 I Was There (15:36)
  2. 2 Memories (7:01)
  3. 3 Mar De Leche (14:41)
  4. 4 Only Breath (10:07)
  5. 5 Kashmir (7:17)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Maya Beiser Primary Artist, Cello
Jamey Haddad Percussion
Jerry Marotta Drums
Etty Ben-Zaken Vocals
Bassam Saba Oud
Shane Shanahan Percussion
Technical Credits
Jimmy Page Composer
Robert Plant Composer
Djivan Gasparyan Composer
John Kilgore Engineer
Judith Sherman Producer
Evan Ziporyn Arranger
Philip Blackburn Label Direction
Scott Hull Mastering
Lili Almog Art Direction
Maya Beiser Producer, Liner Notes, Executive Producer
Kayhan Kalhor Composer
Dave Cook Engineer
Douglas J. Cuomo Composer
Tamar Muskal Composer
Douglas Cuomo Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Bridging Past and Present

    From the opening notes of "Provenance," it's impossible not to find oneself transported from mundane reality to a time and place of spiritual calm and rejuvenation. Cellist Maya Beiser, whose career path is as unpredictable as it is artistically rewarding, explores Spain's centuries-old musical traditions in works by several contemporary composers on this, her latest and most accessible recording. Beiser was raised in Israel, so her interest in Middle Eastern music is no surprise. Several of the composers invited to participate in this project hail from Iran, Israel and Armenia; their compositions tap into ancient musical forms while retaining a distinct contemporary attitude. Each piece leads seamlessly into the next, creating a rich musical tapestry of melody, emotion and drama in which Beiser's cello is the dominant voice. Her haunting and soulful playing is deftly supported by appropriately minimalist accompaniment: oud, percussion and voice. The disc's final track, Led Zeppelin's classic "Kashmir," might seem an odd inclusion until one realizes that it incorporates classical Moroccan, Indian and Middle Eastern musical motifs. Beiser's stunning interpretation highlights these elements while also relating the emotion in the song to the tracks that precede it. "Provenance" is yet another triumph for the virtuoso cellist who is helping to redefine the limits and the capabilities of modern classical music. Easily my favorite disc of 2010.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Simply Amazing

    Maya Beiser revolutionized contemporary classical cello with her album "Kinship," and every subsequent album from "World to Come" through "Provenance" has demonstrated how multi-dimensional and talented this artist is. Provenance is simply stunning; the rendition of Kashmir is very refreshing after a few somewhat disappointing attempts by other classical musicians, but the other pieces really make the album. She clearly knows the music and the area it comes from very well (not many classically trained Western musicians have a nuanced enough understanding of this music to deliberately include Kurdish music and even Ladino music), but the most impressive aspect is, as always, her playing. Ten years ago, no one would have argued with the notion that Beiser is a virtuoso up there with Rostropovich and Du Pre, but now I think she is entering new territory that no one in the history of the instrument has ventured into. In an era where pop and rap have gripped the popular culture, Beiser's music is one of the last bastions of intelligent and thoughtful composition that everyone can enjoy. My only wish is that she would have included some of the other pieces she performed at the opening concert for Provenance at Carnegie Hall, I really enjoyed them and missed them on the album.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews