GAZIZA ZHUBANOVA (1927-1993): String Quartets Nos. 1 and 2, ARMAN ZHAIYM (b.1983): String Quartet No. 1, SAGYRBAYULY KURMANGAZY (1823-1896): Adai, ABDIMOMYM ZHELDIBAYEV (b.1934): Yerke Sylkym (both arr. G. Uzembayeva), TOLEGEN MOMBEKOV (1918-1997): Saltanat (arr. K. Shildebayev), QAZANGAPULY TATTIMBET (1815-1862): Kos Basar (arr. Arman Zhaiym).
Catalogue Number: 04S061
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: This is a most attractive disc. Kazakh music has been slow to be recognised in the west, but of course there is no reason to assume that the country would have contributed any less to the musical culture of the Russian Federation / USSR countries than any of its neighbours. Not surprisingly, two of the main works here - the 1974 quartet by Zhubanova and the 2011 First Quartet by Zhaiym - share many of the hallmarks of Soviet-era music - a tonal language, readily accessible and uncomplicated. Both composers' works are inflected by Kazakh folk styles, that of the younger composer especially so; again, not a surprise from a composer born after the fall of the Soviet Union, clearly at pains to embrace his national identity. Zhaiym has an original voice in his combination of modern harmonic thinking and tradition. Zhubanova's First Quartet is more conventional, though notably the post-Soviet one (a very late work in her output) displays a distinct sense of freedom from prescribed strictures and a corresponding emotional depth; it sounds as the composer was waiting for her opportunity to embrace her inner avant-gardist when it was safe to do so, and one senses that under different circumstances she might have been another Ustvolskaya or Gubaidulina. Four attractive little pieces in Kazakh folk tradition in arrangements for quartet round out the appealing recital. Kazakh State String Quartet.