Ustvolskaya, Silvestrov, Kancheli - Works for Piano and Orchestra album review: Scorched sounds in an echo chamber

Wed, Feb 22, 2017, 16:15


Ustvolskaya, Silvestrov, Kancheli Works for Piano and Orchestra

Elisaveta Blumina; Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra; Thomas Sanderling; Galina Ustvolskaya; Valentin Silvestrov; Giya Kancheli

Grand Piano


This new collection by Elisaveta Blumina, the resourceful Dublin-based Russian pianist, begins with Galina Ustvolskaya’s 1946 Concerto, a work of scorched emotions and clashing sonorities. The other pieces share Ustvolskaya’s insistence of manner, but in ways that are altogether more gentle.

Valentin Silvestrov’s Hymn (2001) and Four Postludes (2004) inhabit a world of slowly drifting nostalgia. The effect is like something you might find if you could sift through the contents a sad echo chamber, where sounds are forever combining and re-combining, the same only different.

Giya Kancheli’s Sio (1998) achieves its stark contrasts not so much by accentuation as de-emphasis, exploring background decay at a level that’s at times almost subliminal.