Album Review

Gubaidulina, Sofia – “And: The Feast Is In Full Progress” – [Col Legno]

abacus   3/5/2014   A Library, CD


Sofia Gubaidulina born 1931 was a composer from the Tatar Republic in Russia who became a major figurehead in Russian modern classical as her works began to be represented in western concert in the early 1980s. Her work draws influence largely from the European and American avant-garde but was also heavily influenced by eastern themes and Slavic, Caucasian and mid-Asiatic folk traditions. The sadness and tension common in post-war Russian music stands very prominent in her work but elements of extended technique and her almost total abstention from “absolute” music draws her closer to the western avant-garde spheres than not. “The Feast” refers to a poem by Gennadi Aigi describing a feast during the plague where a human throng unconsciously throw themselves towards the gates of the Last Judgement only to perish in the blazing flames of hell. The “Ten Preludes” written for solo cello explore musical expression through binary oppositions. This piece is less thematic and more technical, contrasting different approaches and styles to playing the cello. The preludes exist elsewhere in our library but “The Feast” is a beautiful and emotional piece that stands on its own as a wonderful addition to our library of modern classical.

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