Geir Draugsvoll / Øyvind Gimse

Sofia Gubaidulina: Fachwerk; Silenzio

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The bayan is a Russian accordion with a distinctively Eastern European timbre that Gubaidulina has featured in several of her works. Her idiomatic writing for the instrument exploits its coloristic and expressive range as both a melodic and harmonic instrument. In Fachwerk for bayan, percussion, and strings, she uses the percussion with great subtlety as a member of the accompanying forces to provide color and a rhythmic and dynamic foundation for the strings, rather than falling into the temptation of exploiting its potential for taking center stage. The piece doesn't feel quite like a concerto because the bayan is so thoroughly integrated into the orchestral textures. Gubaidulina has a gift for creating memorable colors that serve as structural element and that gives her music much of it character. Fachwerk has a largely contemplative tone, but toward the end it begins to build to a trmendous climax. Silenzio for bayan, violin, and cello is, as its title would suggest, largely a very quiet piece, and like much of the composer's music its unfolding is more textural than motivic. Both works, in their mood, tonal language (which is not traditionally tonal but makes use of free-floating tonal elements), and direct expressiveness, situate Gubaidulina in the mystical tradition of Valentin Silvestrov and Edison Denisov. The performers, including bayan player Geir Draugsvoll, percussionist Anders Loguin, violinist Geir Inge Lotsberg, cellist and conductor Oyvind Gimse, and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, play with intense focus and attention to tonal purity. Naxos sound is clean, detailed, and atmospheric, with excellent depth.

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