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Sofia Gubaidulina
Canticle of the Sun

Gidon Kremer violin
Marta Sudraba violoncello
The Kremerata Baltica
Nicolas Altstaedt violoncello
Andrei Pushkarev percussion
Rihards Zalupe percussion
Rostislav Krimer celesta
Riga Chamber Choir Kamēr…
Māris Sirmais conductor
 
The Lyre of Orpheus (2006)

The Canticle of the Sun
(1997, rev. 1996)

Glorification of the Creator, and His Creations - the Sun and the Moon
Glorification of the Creator, the Maker of
the four elements: air, water, fire and earth
Glorification of life
Glorification of death

Recorded June 2006 and July 2010

ECM New Series 2256
 
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Sofia Gubaidulina’s 80th birthday in October 2011 generated much press coverage around the world, appropriately stressing the uniqueness and the variety of her compositional approaches. Both are in evidence on these recordings from Lockenhaus. Gidon Kremer is the soloist and Kremerata Baltica the ensemble on the premiere recording of “The Lyre of Orpheus”, dedicated to the memory of Gubaidulina’s daughter. Kremer has long been a committed advocate of Gubaidulina’s work, and the composer has praised the way the violinist seems to unleash music from the soul. In this work of austere beauty and raw lyricism, violin, string orchestra and percussion intermingle in new ways. At a subterranean level, the piece is also an exploration into acoustic phenomena and the physics of sound, with pulsating difference tones part of its underlying structures. “The Lyre of Orpheus” was recorded in 2006, a month after Kremer gave the first performance. “Canticle of the Sun”, recorded in 2010, revisits the celebrated piece that Gubaiduilina wrote in tribute to Mstislav Rostropovich on the occasion of his 70th birthday in 1997. Rostropovich’s famously sunny disposition was an inspiration, by association prompting Gubaidulina to set St Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of the Sun” for choir. In this recording, Nicolas Altstaedt, one of the most accomplished cellists of his generation, takes on the highly expressive lead role. A further, timely, Lockenhaus connection here: as of this year, Altsteadt takes over from Kremer as the new director of the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival.

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