Kancheli: Letters to Friends

Kancheli: Letters to Friends
Composer Giya Kancheli
Artist Andrea Cortesi violin
Georgian Strings
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 95693
EAN code 5028421956930
Release June 2019

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About this release

Giya Kancheli’s cult reputation as one of the most profound musical voices of our time has not always been matched by the availability of his music on record. These world premiere recordings of works written (or recomposed and arranged) between 2016 and 2018 are thus a significant contribution to the Kancheli discography. They find the composer at his most charming and epigrammatic in a series of 25 musical ‘letters’ for violin and string orchestra. Most of them are under three minutes in length, taking their material from themes written by the Georgian composer for the film scores which he has composed throughout his career.

Compared to his more celebrated concert works such as the symphonies and cantatas of often starkly imposing and monumental expression, these letters strike a more whimsical, often wistful tone. The subjects – to whom they are addressed – are mostly actors and directors who have worked on the films scored by Kancheli. But there are also pieces written with palpable affection to performers such as the composer Jansug Kakhidze, who have championed his music over the years, to fellow composers such as Bidzina Kvernadze, and to artistic friends such as the writer, puppeteer and painter Revaz Gabriadze.

The project was initiated by the violinist Andrea Cortesi, who had asked for a piece for violin and string orchestra. Kancheli returned to a cycle of 18 miniatures he had written for violin and piano with Cortesi in mind, and then further back to a collection of 33 piano-only miniatures. Kancheli explains this in a booklet introduction, complemented by a fuller essay from Cortesi, making this album an authoritative recording of Kancheli at his most appealing – perhaps the ideal introduction to his unique voice.

Giya Kancheli is a Georgian composer whose intensely personal style is closely related to Minimalism and New Spiritualism.
Kancheli’s “Letters to Friends” is an anthology of themes from his film music, rewritten and collected in a cycle for violin and string orchestra, especially made for violinist Andrea Cortesi. Each piece/letter carries the name of a different Georgian friend of the composer, the cycle is a tribute to friendship, sharing creativity and connecting life and art.
The performers are the Georgian strings and violinist Andrea Cortesi. Kancheli himself is very happy with this project: “My sincere gratitude goes out to the musicians and the sound team for taking such good care of my music and for the brilliant sound”.
The previous Kancheli recording of Andrea Cortesi, “Miniatures for Violin and Piano“ was issued on Brilliant Classics BC95267, and received great critical acclaim in the international press.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Letter to Artist Tengiz Mirzashvili
  2. Letter to Film Director Georgi Danelia
  3. Letter to Film Director Georgi Kalatozishvili
  4. Letter to Composer Sulkhan Nasidzeq
  5. Letter to Sound Engineer Mikheil Kilosanidze
  6. Letter to Film Director Eldar Shengelaia
  7. Letter to Choreographer Gogi Aleksidze
  8. Letter to Artist Koka Ignatov
  9. Letter to Opera Director Guram Meliva
  10. Letter to Composer Nodar Gabunia
  11. Letter to Musicologist Givi Ordjonikidze
  12. Letter to Friend of Childhood Gogi Kacharava
  13. Letter to Impresario Dorian Kitia
  14. Letter to Director Lana Gogoberidze
  15. Letter to Folklorist Anzor Erkomaishvili
  16. Letter to Actor Kakhi Kavsadze
  17. Letter to Composer Bidzina Kvernadze
  18. Letter to Artist Georgi Alexi-Meskhishvili
  19. Letter to Actor Ramaz Chkhikvadze
  20. Letter to Conductor Jansug Kakhidze
  21. Letter to Writer, Puppeteer and Painter Revaz Gabriadze
  22. Letter to Actor Janri Lolashvili
  23. Letter to Singer Nani Bregvadze
  24. Letter to Singer and Actor Vakhtang Kikabidze
  25. Letter to Director Robert Sturua