Author Topic: Giya Kancheli  (Read 7985 times)

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Harry

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Giya Kancheli
« on: September 07, 2007, 03:16:38 AM »
I have listened to Giya Kancheli today, and am mightily impressed.
I am interested in his Orchestral and Chamberworks.
Need advise in this.

Offline sound67

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Re: Giya Kancheli
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2007, 04:16:09 AM »
You've heard enough. I got several Kancheli Symphonies, as well as other works (heard a couple in their world premieres even), and in my book they represent the typical end-of-20-th-century "Betroffenheitsmusik" (don't know which translation would best describe it).
"Vivaldi didn't compose 500 concertos. He composed the same concerto 500 times" - Igor Stravinsky

"Mozart is a menace to musical progress, a relic of rituals that were losing relevance in his own time and are meaningless to ours." - Norman Lebrecht

Harry

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Re: Giya Kancheli
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2007, 04:23:56 AM »
You've heard enough. I got several Kancheli Symphonies, as well as other works (heard a couple in their world premieres even), and in my book they represent the typical end-of-20-th-century "Betroffenheitsmusik" (don't know which translation would best describe it).

Thanks Thomas, I appriciate your opinion.
I ordered another Kancheli disc on the label Ondine.
From there I will see where to go.
I understand and speak German fluently, and you are right its difficult to translate.

Offline edward

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Re: Giya Kancheli
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2007, 04:27:28 AM »
For the most part, I think the symphonies are the best of Kancheli, particularly when conducted by Djansug Kakhidze. (I'm less attached to 1, 2 and 7 than to the other four, though.)

The later work often leaves me cold--the cliches Kancheli narrowly avoids in the earlier works are often embraced wholeheartedly in them. Much of it is available on ECM--I find Lament the best of his later works, though ...a la duduki... is also fine.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

Harry

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Re: Giya Kancheli
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2007, 04:29:30 AM »
For the most part, I think the symphonies are the best of Kancheli, particularly when conducted by Djansug Kakhidze. (

Thanks Edward! Could you somewhat elaborate on the sound quality, and the performance as a whole of these recordings.
Many thanks.

DavidW

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Re: Giya Kancheli
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2007, 02:37:11 PM »
So I take it he's end of the 20th century eh?  What's his style?

Offline edward

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Re: Giya Kancheli
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2007, 05:02:13 PM »
Thanks Edward! Could you somewhat elaborate on the sound quality, and the performance as a whole of these recordings.
Many thanks.
Kakhidze's recordings tend to use slower tempi than other conductors, and tend to emphasise the contrasts between the slow, monodic melodies and the violent outbursts. The sound quality is fine in all of Kakhidze's readings that I've heard.

So I take it he's end of the 20th century eh?  What's his style?
Yes. His style was initially based around opposition of slow, very quiet folk-like monody and brutalist marches. In his earlier works the tension was often ratcheted up by approaching sentimental, cliched cadences but turning away from them at the last moment, in more recent works he's tended to embrace these cliches and downplay the brutalism somewhat.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

Offline sound67

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Re: Giya Kancheli
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2007, 10:54:49 PM »
I remember hearing his Viola Concerto "Vom Winde beweint" (Mourned by the Wind) in its German premiere with Kim Kashkashian and the Bonn Beethovenhalle Symphony Orchestra under Dennis Russell Davies (they also recorded it for ECM) many years ago. Your description of Kancheli's later style is absolutely accurate. Just what I meant when I wrote "Betroffenheitsmusik" (I would count e.g. Panufnik's Katyn Epitaph and some of Gorecki's and Kilar's works among this "group").

Thomas
"Vivaldi didn't compose 500 concertos. He composed the same concerto 500 times" - Igor Stravinsky

"Mozart is a menace to musical progress, a relic of rituals that were losing relevance in his own time and are meaningless to ours." - Norman Lebrecht

lukeottevanger

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Re: Giya Kancheli
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2007, 12:41:05 AM »
I remember hearing his Viola Concerto "Vom Winde beweint" (Mourned by the Wind) in its German premiere with Kim Kashkashian and the Bonn Beethovenhalle Symphony Orchestra under Dennis Russell Davies (they also recorded it for ECM) many years ago. Your description of Kancheli's later style is absolutely accurate. Just what I meant when I wrote "Betroffenheitsmusik" (I would count e.g. Panufnik's Katyn Epitaph and some of Gorecki's and Kilar's works among this "group").

Thomas

And I remember giving the British premiere of this same piece!  :D (Well, taking part, anyway). I had that ECM CD already, and the conductor, Martyn Brabbins, had only studied the score, not heard the work, so I lent it to him during rehearsals...

Anyway, that piece has always struck me as one of Kancheli's finest, superior even to his symphonies, which are generally held to be his most successful group of of pieces. I tend to agree, though, that his later pieces, including quite a few, though not all, of those issued by ECM since their Vom Winde beweint disc, are less impressive.  I like ...a la duduki.... very much (fantastic aural imagination), and its companion piece Trauerfarbenes Land is an intense work; the Lament Edward mentions is also fine, and Simi, as recorded by Rostropovich, seems rather fine too. But I find the viola concerto Styx (on DG) pretty repugnant, I must say, and most of the other pieces on the ECM issues fairly bland and flaccid.

So I'd stick to the symphonies, no 1 being the least 'Kanchelian' of them, to Vom Winde beweint (try to get hold of the Bashmet recording, coupled with Bright Sorrow, another of his finer pieces), and to two or three of the ECM discs: Lament; ...a la duduki; perhaps Simi.

There is a weird and not-always-wonderful disc of Kancheli's film music, which at times demonstrates how easily Kancheli's style adapts itself to a more sentimental, sometimes saccharine sound (funnily enough, though, these are not 'late' pieces AFAIK, and they tend to show that this sort of thing has always been close to the surface in his music). The most interesting thing on that disc, for me, is a series of choral pieces in the Georgian folk music style which sound indistinguishable from the real thing to my ears, and are actually extremely fine, I think.

Harry

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Re: Giya Kancheli
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2007, 02:39:28 AM »
So I take it he's end of the 20th century eh?  What's his style?

I hope you are well satisfied with the answer Edward gave, that about sums it up.
Let me add that his scoring is something I revel in. Very concentrated writing.

Harry

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Re: Giya Kancheli
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2007, 02:41:44 AM »
And I remember giving the British premiere of this same piece!  :D (Well, taking part, anyway). I had that ECM CD already, and the conductor, Martyn Brabbins, had only studied the score, not heard the work, so I lent it to him during rehearsals...

Anyway, that piece has always struck me as one of Kancheli's finest, superior even to his symphonies, which are generally held to be his most successful group of of pieces. I tend to agree, though, that his later pieces, including quite a few, though not all, of those issued by ECM since their Vom Winde beweint disc, are less impressive.  I like ...a la duduki.... very much (fantastic aural imagination), and its companion piece Trauerfarbenes Land is an intense work; the Lament Edward mentions is also fine, and Simi, as recorded by Rostropovich, seems rather fine too. But I find the viola concerto Styx (on DG) pretty repugnant, I must say, and most of the other pieces on the ECM issues fairly bland and flaccid.

So I'd stick to the symphonies, no 1 being the least 'Kanchelian' of them, to Vom Winde beweint (try to get hold of the Bashmet recording, coupled with Bright Sorrow, another of his finer pieces), and to two or three of the ECM discs: Lament; ...a la duduki; perhaps Simi.

There is a weird and not-always-wonderful disc of Kancheli's film music, which at times demonstrates how easily Kancheli's style adapts itself to a more sentimental, sometimes saccharine sound (funnily enough, though, these are not 'late' pieces AFAIK, and they tend to show that this sort of thing has always been close to the surface in his music). The most interesting thing on that disc, for me, is a series of choral pieces in the Georgian folk music style which sound indistinguishable from the real thing to my ears, and are actually extremely fine, I think.

Thank you, learned a lot from your post.
Also from Edward, thank you both.

Offline offbeat

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Re: Giya Kancheli
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2010, 02:01:13 PM »
Giya Kancheli Symphony 6 and 7/KAKHIDZE - no image available

This disc has been lurking and gathering dust in my collection - i must be honest im afraid of playing because it is so psychotic but thought would risk it :o
Much has been said about Kanchelis dynamic range and these two symphonies are prime examples - much of six has great beauty but is interspersed with shattering outbursts - would really like to know his motivations in his compositions - does anyone else have problems with this composer - i started listening to above with headphones but quickly switched to speaker
 >:D

eyeresist

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Re: Giya Kancheli
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2010, 05:08:31 PM »
So I take it he's end of the 20th century eh?  What's his style?

East European depressive, like some of Schnittke and Godar, but with long periods of near-inaudibility followed by deafening outbursts, a trait for which he is often, and I think rightly, mocked.

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Giya Kancheli
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2010, 05:11:34 PM »
To be fair, dynamic changes like that work far better in the concert hall.
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Offline Grazioso

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Re: Giya Kancheli
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2010, 03:08:59 AM »
Quote
What's his style?

East European depressive.

Good one  :D I need to remember that... 
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Offline Superhorn

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Re: Giya Kancheli
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2010, 07:36:49 AM »
  He's not really eastern European, but from the republic of Georgia,
which is more middle eastern than european.It's a fascinating country,with an ancient history,traditions and its own weird language with its own weird-looking alphabet.
  Did you know for example, that in Georgian, Deda means mother, and mama means father?  I'm not kidding! 
  I have a Sony CD of two of his symphonies. The sudden constrasts of loud and soft are really strange. The CD even comes with a warning about this!

greg

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Re: Giya Kancheli
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2010, 02:49:18 PM »
I've never even listened to Kancheli, ever, and just decided to look him up today!  :o

So I found this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyD_L5G_AFs&feature=related

and was pleasantly surprised.

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Giya Kancheli
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2010, 03:17:12 PM »
I'd recommend you try this one too, as Styx is maybe a poor example of how seriously Kancheli used to take composition (it's kind of garish):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djvQ-zryBkU
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

greg

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Re: Giya Kancheli
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2010, 04:10:40 PM »
I'd recommend you try this one too, as Styx is maybe a poor example of how seriously Kancheli used to take composition (it's kind of garish):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djvQ-zryBkU
That was pretty good. They have some of his other symphonies on youtube- I think I'll check them out, too. Is this one your favorite (out of the symphonies)?

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Giya Kancheli
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2010, 04:27:16 PM »
Yep, although 6 is just as good. It kind of goes:

1-2: Decent, but unrepresentetive early works
3: A big change, if I recall it has some folk influences mixed with a lot of marches, less organic or sophisticated than the later ones, but visceral
4-6: All excellent, with most people finding the 6th to be his best
7: Quite disappointing, but the time he wrote this he was in his decline where he kind of made sugary parodies of himself. It's still decent music if you don't expect to respect it
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.