Violinist Roman Mints, pianist Alexey Goribol and conductor Philip Chizhevsky collaborate in the folk-like music of Leonid Desyatnikov (b. 1955), a St. Petersburg composer who explores gypsy/jazz/Biblical roots. With the Brno Philharmonic, the musicians give the world premier recording of the 1992 quintet, Sketches to Sunset written for the film Sunset. We hear klezmer, jazz, Rachmaninov, Mahler, Schnittke, Arvo Pärt (an Estonian composer of classical and religious music), and Latin influences running through this colorful series of 9 Sketches. The story, set in pre-revolutionary Russsia, is full of Biblical references. The 12 mvmts of Russian Seasons for Violin, Voice and Strings (2000) present the four seasons in terms of Russian holidays and activities of peasant life. The 5 vocal episodes (tracks 11, 14, 16, 18, 21) convey despair and hopelessness in music and text, with the soprano voice (Yana Ivanilova) perhaps symbolizing Mother Russia. The instrumental sections vary in mood, with humor, joy and merriment, using a mix of colors and polyphony and a full range of musical forms.|
Sketches to Sunset (1992)
1. Absalom’s Death (2:44). Lament.
2. Death in Venice (2:52). A humorous tango.
3. Jewish Lambada (1:51). Shades of “It Ain’t Necessarily So.”
4. Absalom’s Death (2:38). Quietly reflective.
5. Lot’s Daughters (1:03). Sinuous dancers they were, they were.
6. Take Five and Seven (1:47). The circus is in town.
7. Tango e-moll (2:40). Ominous tango in a dimly lit cellar joint
8. Evening (3:58). Tolling bells in a softly lit village street scene.
9. Love (2:08). A couple looks out from a balcony at rosy dusk.
Russian Seasons for Violin, Voice and Strings (2000)
10. Easter Greeting Song (2:40). Call to the congregation to gather.
11. Swaying Song (2:30)
12. St. George’s Day Song (4:35). He’s thinking to the task ahead.
13. Cuckoo’s Lament (2:03). Cuckoo calls; animals respond.
14. Whit Monday Song (4:41)
15. Stomping Song (3:12). Women do the stomping, lightly, not men.
16. Fasting Song (4:04)
17. Autumnal Song (2:16). A gigue after the harvest is in.
18. Wedding Song (3:58). No one is happy at this wedding.
19. Christmastide Song (1:07). Half-hearted celebration.
20. Shrovetide Song (1:39). Energy suffuses the barn dance.
21. Last Song (4:10)