Friday, May 9, 2014

SOLARIS - Tabula Rasa (Arvo Pärt)

“We take off into the cosmos, ready for anything: for solitude, for hardship, for exhaustion, death. Modesty forbids us to say so, but there are times when we think pretty well of ourselves. And yet, if we examine it more closely, our enthusiasm turns out to be all a sham. We don't want to conquer the cosmos, we simply want to extend the boundaries of Earth to the frontiers of the cosmos. For us, such and such a planet is as arid as the Sahara, another as frozen as the North Pole, yet another as lush as the Amazon basin. We are humanitarian and chivalrous; we don't want to enslave other races, we simply want to bequeath them our values and take over their heritage in exchange. We think of ourselves as the Knights of the Holy Contact. This is another lie. We are only seeking Man. We have no need of other worlds. A single world, our own, suffices us; but we can't accept it for what it is. We are searching for an ideal image of our own world: we go in quest of a planet, a civilization superior to our own but developed on the basis of a prototype of our primeval past. At the same time, there is something inside us which we don't like to face up to, from which we try to protect ourselves, but which nevertheless remains, since we don't leave Earth in a state of primal innocence. We arrive here as we are in reality, and when the page is turned and that reality is revealed to us - that part of our reality which we would prefer to pass over in silence - then we don't like it anymore.”
― Stanisław Lem, Solaris 

1. Tabula Rasa: I. Ludus -- Con moto (Arvo Pärt)
2. Tabula Rasa: II. Silentium -- Senza moto (Arvo Pärt)
3. Company for String Orchestra: Movement I (Philip Glass)
4. Company for String Orchestra: Movement II (Philip Glass)
5. Company for String Orchestra: Movement III (Philip Glass)
6. Company for String Orchestra: Movement IV (Philip Glass)
7. "Come In!": Movement I (Vladimir Martynov)
8. "Come In!": Movement II (Vladimir Martynov)
9. "Come In!": Movement III (Vladimir Martynov)
10. "Come In!": Movement IV (Vladimir Martynov)
11. "Come In!": Movement V (Vladimir Martynov)
12. "Come In!": Movement VI (Vladimir Martynov)
13. Darf ich (Arvo Pärt)

About this album:

Silencio is a meditative collection of 20th-century works for string orchestra, including works by Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, and Vladimir Martynov. The disc is bookended with works by Pärt, whose Tabula Rasa opens the disc. The work was written for and dedicated to Kremer, violinist Tatjana Grindenko and conductor Eri Klas (all featured on this recording), who premiered it in 1977 in Estonia. It was recorded live for release on ECM later that year. Tabula Rasa is scored for string orchestra, solo violins and prepared piano.

Philip Glass's Company was originally composed for a Public Theater production of a play based on Samuel Beckett's short novel of the same name. Later it became Glass's String Quartet # 2 and received its first recording by Kronos Quartet, on their self-titled debut, in 1986. It is heard here in an adaptation for string orchestra.

The Russian composer Vladimir Martynov wrote "Come in!" for Kremer and Grindenko, who premiered the work in Leningrad in 1988. A six-movement work for two solo violins and string orchestra, it takes its title from the following text, written by the composer:

The staircase to Heaven is inside your heart; you enter through the door of your soul.

Our whole life is but an attempt to find this miraculous entrance.

All our deeds are but a timid knocking on this mysterious door

All our hopes are to hear a voice that would respond, 'Come In!'

Closing the disc is the world premiere recording of Arvo Pärt's Darf ich... (May I), recorded in Berlin last year.

Kremer founded the Kremerata Baltica, an orchestra of young musicians from the three Baltic States, in 1996. They first performed in Riga, Latvia in February 1997. Kremer had long sought to share his rich artistic experience with young musicians in his native Latvia and the Baltic region, and was prompted to form a more lasting relationship with the artists, as a way to give back to the community that fostered his own musical growth. The Kremerata Baltica is made up of musicians whose average age is 25 and who hail from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Kremer, who acts as the group's artistic director, said, in an interview for The New York Times, that it functions as "a musical, self-critical, a continuation of my musical spirit."

The Kremerata Baltica, who the Los Angeles Times calls, "...extraordinary young players...they animate everything their bows touch..." recently signed an exclusive, six-record agreement with Nonesuch Records, inaugurated earlier this year by the release of Eight Seasons. This reorchestration of Piazzolla's Cuatro estaciones porteñas, paired with the Vivaldi classic, brings with it a new way of listening to both works, and the possibility of discovering the connections they share.

1 comment:

Fram Actual said...

Three elements, three thoughts:

I reiterate what I have said in the past: You give the touch of magic to your photography, Daliana, which can only come from how you envision and approach your subjects. You turn an ordinary view into an extraordinary sight, illustrated here by the way you have "translated" a few glimpses of ordinary mannequins into photographic artistry. And, the light and shadow accents tell a story in themselves.

I am sort of familiar with Stanislaw Lem, but I have not read "Solaris" or seen any of the film adaptations of his novel. This strikes me as particularly odd since I have a copy of the book. Hmmmm ....

Your musical offering is long. I will listen to it just before bedtime.

A very neat and thought-provoking post, Daliana.