Echoes of Time
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Echoes of Time

Lisa Batiashvili, Hélène Grimaud, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Esa-Pekka Salonen

Lisa Batiashvili’s debut album for DG, Echoes of Time, is a matter of the heart - Lisa focuses her program on composers whose lives and work have been heavily influenced by the political happenings in former Soviet Union. Inspired by personal experience, Lisa, herself, went into German exile with her family during the political upheaval in Georgia in 1991.

The program spans the whole of the 20th century, classics by Shostakovich ‘Waltz from the Doll’s Dances' and Rachmaninov’s ever popular ‘Vocalise', are combined with Georgian composer, Giya Kancheli’s ‘V and V', and Estonian, Arvo Pärt’s ‘Spiegel im Spiegel'. ‘Spiegel im Spiegel' was written shortly before the composer went into exile.

For Pärt’s ‘Spiegel im Spiegel' and Rachmaninov’s ‘Vocalise' Lisa teams up with one of our DG’s most distinctive pianists, Hélène Grimaud. Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the Symphonie orchester des bayerischen.

Review

The theme of Lisa Batiashvili’s brilliant DG debut – composers whose lives and work were affected by the politics of the former Soviet Union – brings together music by Shostakovich, Kancheli, Pärt and Rachmaninov. Arvo Pärt’s beautiful Spiegel im Spiegel *(featuring Hélène Grimaud) is as good as any version, while Rachmaninov’s *Vocalise *is refreshingly understated. Most impressive, though, is Shostakovich’s *Violin Concerto No. 1. Playing of the most sincere tenderness, rather than drama, offsets the sense of frustrated emotion that seems to characterise much of Shostakovich’s music. The cadenza is simply perfect. I cannot imagine a better or more warm and inviting performance of this work – a work I now love.

Evan Meagher is from Readings Hawthorn

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