Friday, May 20, 2005

Being New, Being Old

Giya Kancheli, Diplipito (ECM Records, June 2004)

Some contemporary music is not afraid to come back 'round to being pretty and poignant. Is Kancheli's beautiful and simple tonal palette too derivative, or is it a real direction in current musical thought? Is it both? Diplipito and Valse Boston seem to wallow nostalgically in late-Romantic endless moodiness, but I hear hints of the twentieth century in the writing, too. I like it, even if it sounds "old," and hope that subsequent listenings will reveal Kancheli as an innovator of some kind. Today, just the one word must suffice: pretty. Certainly there's no harm in that.

Sunday Update: Listening. Still listening. And, but this is just not as good, not as sexy, as Jerry Goldsmith! (Hope no one's fainted dead away.) It's the eerie piano gestures, sometimes leading, sometimes recalling, sometimes seamless--but then dramatically punctuating--the string writing. Kancheli as Goldsmith sans sexiness.


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