Magazine article Gramophone

Kirill Karabits Champions the Music of His Late Father

Magazine article Gramophone

Kirill Karabits Champions the Music of His Late Father

Article excerpt

Karabits * Silvestrov

Karabits Concertos for Orchestra--No 1, 'Musical Gift to Kiev'; No 2; No 3,

'Lamentations'

Silvestrov Elegie. Abschiedsserenade

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Kirill Karabits

Naxos (S) 8 572633 (59' * DDD)

Ivan Karabits (1945-2 002), father of Kirill, the conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, was a major figure in Ukraine as composer, conductor, teacher and energiser of his country's music. Among a wealth of his orchestral music are the three concertos for orchestra on this disc, pieces which indicate his love of orchestral sonorities and a considerable originality and virtuosity, indeed wit, in their handling. In No 1, a salute to the country s capital, Kiev, as well as imitations of the twangling of the folk gusli there are sonorous fanfares and an improvisatory section in which the conductor decides when to bring in some of the instruments: snapshots of the city fade in and out. No 2 includes a passage in which the players applaud a bongo solo. No 3, a burdened lamentation for two national catastrophes, Stalin's cruelly imposed famine and the Chernobyl disaster, uses an improvised instrument of bells woven into tresses of hair and ends with the conductor taking to the piano (a risky instruction, in certain cases).

Shostakovich has been suggested as an influence but seems to inform Karabits s diatonic idiom rather than anything else. Certainly the music is colourful and falls easily on the ear. His friend Silvestrov was born in 1937 and got into trouble for his rather more advanced idiom, which is touchingly interwoven with some of Karabits's sketches to make a memorial in the Elegie. …

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