These Sounds are Actors, too
by Alexander Bakshi

Hamlet is dyingThe music collected here will not satisfuy those who seeking the pure sound of a studio recording or even a typical live concert. These are the essential, undoctored recordings of first-time performances, complete with the inescapable noises that retain the athmosphere of the performance sites in once case, this means a large church in Lockenhaus; in another it is a rundown rehearsal hall near Taganka Square in Moscow.

I am adressing listeners who as I do, love the THEATRE OF SOUND. I do not appeal to those who are fond of the concerts, that last basion of the dead epoch of great composers. The concert has always been the monologue of a genius towering over the crowd. It is a platform from which those who have been inspired by god project their lyrical revelations and prophecies. Bound by the contours of the stage, the music of the concert has become an object of worship. This bastion, however, is crumbling. Music is returning to its source, to the sacred space of ritual and theatre, a space bound up in myth.

Shakespeare, Shostakovich and Sidur - in fact, all of the greats in the world art - became myths of a new age. A living myth, however, requires the collaboration of one who is capable of retelling and commenting on the myth. That is what I do when composing theatre. My desire is to unite the arts of literature. I do not want sound to be re-illustrating the word, I do not want chantine singers straining to imitate the artlessness of human speech. I am seeking the true nature of things!

Theatre is always visual. However, foremost for me is the sonic mise en scene, the division of the theatrical space into discrete zones and the polyphony of rhythms. I do not work in the conventional environment of the concert hall where sound is projected in single direction, outward from stage. I work with a specific three-dimensional acoustic environment where the listener exists within the music.

Unfortunately, this quality cannot be captured in a recording. The theatre is collaborative art. I have never written for violin or the piano. There are no two violinists, pianists or singers alike - each differs in vocal tone, in stride, in his or her habit of rustling sheet music, and in his or her manner of coughing. In other words, I write for specific people. That is why Gidon Kremer, Tatyana Grindenko, Peter Sadlo and Kremerata Baltica, Lyudmila Bakshi and Mark Pekarski and the musicians of his percussion ensemble are not merely the performers of my music, they are the coauthors. The compositions collected here are the product of our mutual love for the creative act.

Hamlet is dying
Shakespeare concerto for two violinists, three string ensembles, double bassfuneral train and bass drums

Gidon Kremer / violin
Tatiana Grindenko / violin
Peter Sadlo / bass drums
Kremerata Baltica
Janus Mednis - double bass solo
recorded live in Lockenhaus / Austria in 1998
Sound Engineer Peter Laenger (Tritonus Music Productions)

     Shostakovich      Concerto

Sidur Mystery
Based on works of art by Vadim Sidur (1924 - 1986) for soprano and percussion ensemble (excerpts)
Consecration to Julia Sidur
Sound Engineer Peter Laenger (Tritonus Music Productions)

Ludmila Bakshi (Soprano)
Mark Pekarski and Percussion Ensemble: Kirill Denisov, Konstantin Kolesnilov, Nikolay Lgovsky, Maxim Mankovsky, Ilia Vlasov, Andrei Alexeyev, Mjacheslav Mushta, Andrei Molovanov
The Meyerhold Arts Centre Production 1992
recorded live in Lockenhaus / Austria in 1998

click for bigger photo     click for bigger photo

in memory of the jewish victims

a sculpture by Vadim Sidur in Tsarskoe Selo

click on photos for bigger version
Shostakovich Concerto 1996
for violin and strings

Gidon Kremer / Kremerata Baltica
recorded live in Taganka Theatre, Moscow, Russia, 1992

Shostakovich Concerto for violin and strings was composed in the year of anniversary of the soviet classic. The challenge of this little composition was to create the "image" of music of this composer's music - which is the essence of his dramatic collisions and conflicts.

CDLA 00028

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