ENJOTT SCHNEIDER (b.1950): Sprirts of Siberia for Trumpet, Strings and Percussion, Leporello & Giovanni for Double Bass, Contrabass Balalaika and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 04V061
Reference: WER 5126 2
Description: In 2019, the city of Krasnoyarsk in Siberia, which we are told "has a surprisingly vibrant musical life", commissioned two works by Schneider, presented here. For the Asia-Siberia-Europe Festival, Schneider composed Spirits of Siberia, a large-scale trumpet concerto, and Leporello & Giovanni was commissioned by the Trans-Siberian Art Festival. The six movements of Spirits of Siberia evoke the vast landscapes of Siberia, where the forces of nature have always been acknowledged as holding supremacy, and assigned spirit presences in cultures dating back thousands of years. The solo trumpet acts as a shamanistic guide or narrator through the landscape, beginning with an introductory movement in which Schneider draws on the rich vocabulary of orchestral effects of his cinematic career to illuminate a neo-romantic vista of vast spaces. A similar juxtaposition of styles is present I; the third movement, which sets the scene of the "Endless Taiga" and then populates it with the folk-dancing spirits of the trees. The second movement is a more conventional orchestral lament, drawing on Shostakovichian idioms to memorialise the victims of the gulags, transported to the region on the Yenesey river. The fourth and fifth movements describe the unique landscape of the rock-strewn taiga with lonely trumpet-calls echoing over an harmonically rich orchestral landscape, and the region's wild horses with their untamed energy and their place in the mysteries of Shamanic rituals. Such a ritual is depicted in the final movement, an eclectic mixture of vivid cinematic figurative description and neo-Romantic atmosphere and drama. The double concerto for double bass and contrabass balalaika is a great example of Schneider’s musical humour, which we've sampled before (Draculissimo, anyone? - 11S010). The 'noble' contrabass meets the irrepressible 'rustic' balalaika in an exploration of the complex relationship between Don Giovanni and his servant, drawing throughout on extracts from the opera fused into a highly ‘alternative' rendering of the drama - a kind of fringe festival production with the protagonists striking virtuosic sparks off one another- and the result is as entertaining as it is musically ingenious. Reinhold Friedrich (flugelhorn, trumpet, piccolo trumpet), Artem Chirkov (double bass), Mikhail Dzyudze (balalaika), Siberian Percussion, Siberian State Symphony Orchestra; Martín Baeza-Rubio, Vladimir Lande (Leporello).