VAKHTANG KAKHIDZE (b.1959): Moon Dances for Cello and Chamber Orchestra, Christmas Trilogy for Men’s and Boys’ Choris and Orchestra.

Catalogue Number: 02S089

Label: CuGate Classics

Reference: CGC027

Format: CD

Price: $12.98

Description: A composer with a bold, colorful, readily accessible style, Kakhidze (like his illustrious father) has a significant conducting career, and this shows in his confident handling of large forces and effective musical dramaturgy. The Trilogy begins impressively, with a big introduction very reminiscent of the finale of Stravinsky's Firebird (closely enough that it may be derived from the same Russian melody), which then turns into a lively celebration like a carol by John Rutter. The second movement is an elegy with a very 'Russian' (in the broadest sense) melodic contour. These movements introduce the main event; the much larger Advent Suite, which, as the name suggests, comprises a sequence of linked sections including a triumphant introduction, reverent hymns with orchestral interludes, solemn liturgical chant, a grandly cinematic climax, and finally a joyous folk-derived celebration of Christmas pageantry. The four-movement suite Moon Dances was admired by no less a personage than Kancheli. A slow, elegaic 'blues' - it isn't really, more a soulful ballad - is followed by a kind of slow valse triste, a neo-classical scherzo with jazzy and folky inflections which segues into a lively rondo, these last movements suggestion the unlikely union of the Rococo Variations, Pulcinella and Gulda's cello concerto. Alexander Kniazev (cello), Rustavi Choir, Mdzlevari Boys’ Choir, Tblisi Symphony Orchestra; Vakhtang Kakhidze.

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