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Gubaidulina - ... The Deceitful Face of Hope and Despair

Composer Sofia Gubaidulina
Performer Sharon Bezaly
Mie Miki
Torleif Thedéen
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Mario Venzago, conductor
Period Contemporary
Catalogue Number BIS-1449 SACD
EAN 7318599914497
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date Mar 2006
Total time 61'14

BBC Music Magazine 5 stars; Music Web International: Recording of the Year 2006; International Record Review: outstanding.

Considered by many to be the most important Russian composer since Shostakovich, Sofia Gubaidulina is well represented in the BIS catalogue. The present disc will be welcomed by her many admirers, as it includes the world première recording of her flute concerto, composed in 2005 and dedicated to Sharon Bezaly, the performer on this disc. Its title, '...The Deceitful Face of Hope and of Despair', is taken from T.S. Eliot's poem Ash Wednesday, but as the composer herself writes in the liner notes: 'It was by no means my intention to represent the emotional states mentioned in the title by musical means. I was far more concerned with musical and acoustic actualities.' The solo part calls for three different instruments (flute, alto flute and bass flute) and, with the extended orchestra, covers a very wide range of colours and pitches. The work explores 'difference tones', an acoustic phenomenon whose varying aspects come to symbolize the concepts of 'hope' and 'despair'.
Accompanying the one-movement concerto is Sieben Worte (Seven Words), in which Gubaidulina follows in the footsteps of Schütz and Haydn, setting in music the pain and wonder of Christ's last moments on the cross. The seven-movement suite for cello, bayan (Russian-style button accordion) and strings employs a number of musical symbols, but is, like the flute concerto, anything but a cerebral exercise. Rather it is a work of great emotional impact by a composer who has stated: 'I can't reach a single musical decision except with the goal of making a connection to God. If I separated the religious goal from the musical one, music would have no meaning for me.' The emotional content is given its full weight in this interpretation by Torleif Thedéen and Mie Miki, together with the strings of Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mario Venzago.

Some press voices:

"Dedicated to extraordinary flutist Sharon Bezaly, the music alternates dark, threatening gestures with luminous, airy harmonies (a little less reliance on the no doubt unintentionally tacky aural shimmer of wind chimes would have been nice). These elements interact with increasing intensity throughout this 26-minute single movement, and while much of the music is slow and creepy, there are quicker bits that give Bezaly an opportunity to shine. It all winds up sounding like the soundtrack to that famous cult-film trailer "Bambi Meets Godzilla" 05/2006
Choose format
  Sofia Gubaidulina
01 The Deceitful Face of Hope and of Despair. Concerto for flute and large orchestra (Dedicated to Sharon Bezaly) 26'28
  Seven Words (Sieben Worte) for cello, bayan (accordion) and strings 33'44
02 I. Vater, vergib ihnen, denn sie wissen nicht, was sie tun 4'14
03 II. Weib, siehe, das ist dein Sohn. - Siehe, das ist deine Mutter. 4'14
04 III. Wahrlich, ich sage dir: Heute wirst du mit mir im Paradiese sein. 4'00
05 IV. Mein Gott, mein Gott, warum hast du mich verlassen? 8'44
06 V. Mich dürstet. 5'47
07 VI. Es ist vollbracht 2'51
08 VII. Vater, ich befehle meinen Geist in deine Hände. 3'54
  Album total 61'14
ConductorVenzago, Mario
OrchestraGothenburg Symphony Orchestra
FluteBezaly, Sharon
ComposerGubaidulina, Sofia
AccordionMiki, Mie
CelloThedéen, Torleif

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