Giya Kancheli: Themes from the Songbook CD (2011)
Giya Kancheli classical music CD Over the course of his career Giya Kancheli has written scores for over 100 films and plays, and in 2009 he gathered some of the music into a songbook, Simple Music for Piano: 33 Miniatures from Music for Stage and Screen. As a surprise for the composer's 75th birthday, his son and producer Manfred Eicher initiated a project with violinist Gidon Kremer, bandoneon player Dino Saluzzi, and vibraphonist Andrei Pushkarev to arrange and record an album of selections from the songbook. The original music was written over a span of almost 40 years, between 1965 and 2002, but there is a remarkable consistency in style and tone. The vast majority of the pieces recorded here have a mellow, semi-improvisatory, Latinate mood that is frequently reminiscent of Piazzolla at his freest. The prevailing sentiment of gentle melancholy makes for an album with a consistent tone. (It works beautifully as an album listening experience, but it's a little odd that the music is so unvaried for plays and films as diverse as The Crucible, As You Like It, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, King Lear, and Don Quixote, but that may have to do with ...