Maxim Rysanov, Liepaja SO, Maris Sirmais - Giya Kancheli: Styx; John Tavener: The Myrhh-Bearer (2007) [Re-Up]

Posted By: Designol
Maxim Rysanov, Liepaja SO, Maris Sirmais - Giya Kancheli: Styx; John Tavener: The Myrhh-Bearer (2007) [Re-Up]

Giya Kancheli: Styx; John Tavener: The Myrhh-Bearer (2007)
Maxim Rysanov, viola; Liepāja Symphony Orchestra; Kamēr… Choir; Māris Sirmais, conductor

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 341 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 202 Mb | Scans included
Classical, Contemporary, Choral | Label: Onyx | # ONYX 4023 | Time: 01:17:55

Rysanov’s ONYX debut is of two extraordinarily beautiful and haunting works for viola and chorus/orchestra: both written for Bashmet, and the Tavener is a world-première recording! Giya Kancheli’s Styx is already renowned as a choral masterpiece for the 21st century, The River Styx in Greek mythology separates the living from the dead and the solo viola mediates between the two. John Tavener’s The Myrrh-Bearer is another epic, this time based on the Troparion of Cassiane, a Byzantine poet and composer. Here the viola represents the sin of Mary Magdalen. Both works were recorded in the amazing Dome Cathedral in Riga, Latvia, the largest medieval church in the Baltics, has just the right expansive acoustic for this music.

This CD includes two pieces for an extraordinary combination of forces: solo viola, chorus, and orchestra (or percussion). Composers Giya Kancheli and John Tavener are frequently classified as "holy minimalists," but the designation "holy post-modernist" would be more accurate, if decidedly less spiritual sounding. Both composers are products of secular societies, have developed a preoccupation with spiritual topics in their music, and have rejected the prevailing modernism of their times in favor of a style, which in spite of its emotional directness and simplicity can't by any stretch of the imagination be legitimately characterized as minimalism. One characteristic that links Kancheli and the other so-called "holy minimalists" such as Górecki and Pärt is the earnest sobriety of their music. It would be ungenerous to characterize the work of such a diverse group of composers as humorless, but (particularly among those who suffered for the bulk of their professional lives under the artistic restrictions of the Eastern Bloc) their work is often notable for its relentlessly somber tone. That is the case of the two works recorded here. The darkness of the viola in its lower register and the agonized wail of its absolutely highest notes make it an apt vehicle for Kancheli's and Tavener's sober and sometimes anguished visions, and they write for it with great expressiveness. Both composers use the chorus orchestrally, more to create a particular textural color than to convey textual content, and their choral writing is inventive and colorful. The works are harmonically sumptuous and richly imagined, and they have an undeniably powerful emotional fiber. Violist Maxim Rysanov and conductor Máris Sirmais, leading the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra, the youth choir, Kamer…, and the State Choir Latvija perform with all the virtuosity and wrenching intensity the works require.

Review by Stephen Eddins,

Kancheli’s Styx for viola, choir and orchestra was composed at the request of Yuri Bashmet who had already championed Kancheli’s earlier Liturgy for Viola and Orchestra. In Greek mythology, the River Styx must be crossed by dead souls when on their way to Hades, the world of the dead. The viola incarnates the ferryman Charon who mediates between past and present, life and death, light and darkness. So, to a certain extent, Styx may be considered as another "liturgy" of some sort, in which the composer also evokes Georgia and his recently deceased friends Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998) and Avet Terterian (1929-1994). He does so, too, through the text that he devised using a number of allusions to Georgia, its landscapes, its churches, its folklore and the like. The music is thus lyrical, elegiac, dance-like, angry, joyful and consolatory. Although Kancheli’s main fingerprints are present throughout this substantial score, some greater emphasis is laid on long melodic lines (this was a request of Bashmet). The score is in seven contrasted sections, the concluding one setting a text in English. The whole amounts to what may be one of Kancheli’s most personal achievements, and one of his most deeply moving works. I must confess that I am still nourishing doubts concerning some of Kancheli’s recent works, in which I find the material a bit too thin and not particularly attractive and in which the deliberate shocking contrast between loud and soft, nearly inaudible sections sounds rather single-minded. Not so indeed in Styx, I am glad to say.

It is interesting to compare Rysanov’s reading with Bashmet’s. Bashmet’s recording with Gergiev and his Russian forces (St. Petersburg Chamber Choir and Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre – DG 471 494-2) is of course technically superb, and everyone concerned plays immaculately throughout; but, when compared to the version under review, it slightly lacks in warmth. Rysanov’s recording was made with a provincial Latvian orchestra and a Latvian chorus for whom the work - maybe because of the text - obviously means much, and they give a formidably committed reading. The recorded sound, too, benefits from the rather reverberating acoustics of the Dome Cathedral in Riga, that lend some considerable presence and immediacy of sound, somewhat absent in the Russian recording.

John Tavener’s The Myrrh-Bearer, too, was written for Yuri Bashmet who gave the first performance in London in October 1994. This fairly substantial work is scored for viola, percussion (one player), semi-chorus of male voices and mixed chorus. The piece is inspired by Cassiane’s Troparion, an early text conceived as a confession by Mary Magdalene as she pours myrrh over Christ’s head before the Passion. This text, however, is not set, but rather is laid over the solo part, whereas the male semi-chorus sings a drone to the words of Kyrie eleison throughout the entire work and the mixed chorus a text, apparently by the composer, representing "the inane and mindless cries of ugliness and violence which represent the world" (the composer’s words). Nevertheless, what comes strongly through is the sheer beauty of the music, even in episodes evoking "the inane and mindless cries of ugliness" - Tavener is actually incapable of any musical ugliness - although these "cries" may be briefly justified by some dissonance. The music thus unfolds continuously on three different levels, with the viola embodying Mary Magdalene’s complex personality, in turn warmly sensual or repentant. Tavener’s The Myrrh-Bearer is a quite beautiful and often moving piece of music, although I suspect that some might find it a tad too long; but, now, this is music that needs to unfold at its own pace to emphasise the predominantly meditative nature of the work. The music, however, has enough variety to sustain its long time span.

Both pieces are magnificently performed by all concerned. Rysanov is a beautifully equipped musician with both impeccable technique and subtle musicality that these often exacting works call for. The Latvian choruses and orchestra commit themselves wholeheartedly in these demanding but strongly expressive scores. The present recording of Tavener’s work is a first, whereas Rysanov’s competes with Bashmet’s. Both are marvellous musicians; but, as I mentioned earlier in this review, Rysanov’s and the Latvian’s reading of Styx is gripping and strongly moving. Theirs is, I think, the recording to have, if Styx is the work you are interested in. The coupling might be the deciding factor. I would not be without Gubaidulina’s beautiful Viola Concerto either.

Review by Hubert Culot, MusicWeb-International

Maxim Rysanov, Liepaja SO, Maris Sirmais - Giya Kancheli: Styx; John Tavener: The Myrhh-Bearer (2007) [Re-Up]

Maxim Rysanov, Liepaja SO, Maris Sirmais - Giya Kancheli: Styx; John Tavener: The Myrhh-Bearer (2007) [Re-Up]

Maxim Rysanov, Liepaja SO, Maris Sirmais - Giya Kancheli: Styx; John Tavener: The Myrhh-Bearer (2007) [Re-Up]

Maxim Rysanov, viola
Liepāja Symphony Orchestra
Kamēr… Choir
Men of the State Choir Latvija (8-13)
Richards Zaļupe, percussion (8-13)
Māris Sirmais, conductor

rec. Dome Cathedral, Riga, Latvia, September 2006


Giya Kancheli (1935-2019)
1-7. Styx (1999) (35.51)
solo viola, mixed choir and orchestra

John Tavener (1944-2013)
8-13. The Myrrh-Bearer (1993) (42.04)
solo viola, chorus and percussion

Exact Audio Copy V1.0 beta 3 from 29. August 2011

Отчёт EAC об извлечении, выполненном 29. сентября 2013, 5:37

Maxim Rysanov, Liepaja Symphony Orchestra, Maris Sirmais / Kancheli: Styx; Tavener: The Myrrh-Bearer

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Характеристики диапазона извлечения и сообщения об ошибках

Выбранный диапазон

Имя файла O:\!Rips\Kancheli - Styx; Tavener - The Myrrh-Bearer.wav

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Ошибок не произошло

AccurateRip: сводка

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foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2017-01-25 14:27:39

Analyzed: Maxim Rysanov, Liepaja Symphony Orchestra, Maris Sirmais / Kancheli: Styx; Tavener: The Myrrh-Bearer

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
DR16 -0.20 dB -23.01 dB 6:20 01-Giya Kancheli - Styx Pt. 1
DR14 -0.20 dB -21.19 dB 4:08 02-Styx Pt. 2
DR15 -10.24 dB -32.39 dB 4:28 03-Styx Pt. 3
DR13 -0.20 dB -20.06 dB 4:59 04-Styx Pt. 4
DR14 -0.20 dB -21.17 dB 6:27 05-Styx Pt. 5
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DR11 -0.20 dB -17.65 dB 5:07 07-Styx Pt. 7
DR12 -0.20 dB -17.74 dB 8:30 08-John Tavener - The Myrrh-Bearer Pt. 1
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DR18 -0.20 dB -25.52 dB 6:16 11-The Myrrh-Bearer Pt. 4
DR8 -0.20 dB -13.53 dB 8:43 12-The Myrrh-Bearer Pt. 5
DR12 -5.12 dB -24.32 dB 3:53 13-The Myrrh-Bearer Pt. 6

Number of tracks: 13
Official DR value: DR14

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 556 kbps
Codec: FLAC

Maxim Rysanov, Liepaja SO, Maris Sirmais - Giya Kancheli: Styx; John Tavener: The Myrhh-Bearer (2007) [Re-Up]

Maxim Rysanov, Liepaja SO, Maris Sirmais - Giya Kancheli: Styx; John Tavener: The Myrhh-Bearer (2007) [Re-Up]

All thanks to original releaser - jebiawio

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