The Russian composer Nikolai Korndorf (1947-2001) was a larger-than-life character and wrote music that was similarly expansive and urgent. His three works for solo cello illustrate his unwillingness to be governed by convention. The Concerto capriccioso (1986) for cello, strings and percussion is influenced by religious ritual and rock music. The Triptych for cello and piano (1998-99) takes its starting points in folk and operatic lament, primitivist painting and Russian Orthodox prayer. And the immense Passacaglia for solo cello (1997) is an instrumental retelling of Dante's Divine Comedy, the cello taking the part of the narrator, with the cellist whistling, reciting and singing alongside the instrumental part. Alexander Ivashkin, the soloist on this recording, was a close friend of the composer — the Passacaglia was written for him — which gives his performances a unique authority.
Alexander Ivashkin, cello Russian Philharmonic of Moscow, orchestra Konstantin Krimets, conductor Anya Alexeyev, piano
Catalogue No: TOCC0128EAN/UPC: 5060113441287Release Date: 09.07.2012Composer: Nikolai Korndorf Artists: Alexander Ivashkin, Anya Alexeyev, Konstantin Krimets, Russian Philharmonic of Moscow
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Triptych for cello and piano (1998t99) https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0128/TOCC0128t03.mp3
Passacaglia for solo cello (1997) https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0128/TOCC0128t06.mp3
Jonathan Woolf :
“…[Concerto capriccioso] Ivashkin advances ideas about its links to ritualistic Russian paganism and elements of minimalism, and the percussive elements do indeed sound reminiscent of Buddhist ritual. But it can be listened to perfectly well as a sonic exploration in its own right in which tinkling percussion and yearning quasi-improvisatory cello offer a sense of rapture and vocalised intensity. …[Triptych] The cello plumbs the depth and there’s a strong element of reflective, in fact melancholic writing in the opening movement, marked Lament, which takes on a highly updated ‘Baroque’ quality. …The performances throughout are hugely committed and sensitively shaped, with recording quality to match – this despite the fact that two were recorded live and there are three different recording locations. It is fitting to salute Ivashkin’s profound dedication to this body of work, and fitting also to reflect on Korndorf’s musical and cultural breadth of reference in these highly individual and often solemnly beautiful works.” MusicWeb International
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