Alexander Raskatov: Monk’s Music

Alexander Raskatov's Monk's Music
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Artist: Gordon jones, Carducci String Quartet, Alexander Raskatov
Genre: Classical
Label: Louth Contemporary Music Society

It was for Valentin Berlinsky of the Borodin Quartet that Russian composer Alexander Raskatov wrote the seven slow movements of his Monk's Music in 2005. The piece, which Berlinsky didn't live to play and is now dedicated to the memory of the composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg (1919-96), is an obvious homage to Haydn's Seven Last Words. The instrumental movements are preceded by chant-like settings for solo bass voice of words by St Silouan the Athonite. And there's a concentrated spareness of manner, a pursuit of profundity in simplicity, that Haydn would surely have recognised. Gordon Jones sings like a soul stretched and weary. The Carducci Quartet capture the full range of the music, from balm to violence.