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Giya Kancheli

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Piano Quartet In L’Istesso Tempo (1998)
Work Notes
Available in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America only
Schirmer Russian Music
Works for 2-6 Players
Year Composed
20 Minutes

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Score and Part(s) Score and Part(s)

Programme Note
Giya Kancheli Piano Quartet In L’Istesso Tempo (1998)
Composer note:

Again and again, with deep regret, we see how alongside obvious achievements of the civilized world we are. Our planet is being torn apart by bloodshed and antagonisms, and no creative deep is able to withstand that destructive force, which so easily strikes out the fragile means of progress.

Taking very close to my heart, all that is happening around me, I am trying to express in my music the state I feel in my soul, writing basically for myself, without contriving any illusions that, as Dostoyevsky said, ‘beauty will save the world.’

That is why my music is more sad than happy, and is addressed more to the lone individual, rather than to society. Here you won’t find appeals for striving, equality, or ‘a bright future.’ Mist likely, you will find threads of sorrow cause by the imperfection of the world which keeps disregarding the most horrendous examples in human history.

My thoughts are expressed in an extremely simple musical language, and I hope that the audience (…) will not mistake my deliberate simplicity for what, in my opinion, is the most dangerous phenomenon – indifference.

--Giya Kancheli

  • Ensemble
    Kremerata Baltica
    Gidon Kremer, Violin / Oleg Maisenberg, piano
The first chamber music involving strings and piano was played in Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall on Tuesday night. It also was the world premiere [of the] "Piano Quartet in L'istesso Tempo" by Giya Kancheli of the Republic of Georgia. Kancheli's quartet was commissioned for the Bridge Ensemble and it has been five years since the ensemble began the process. It was worth waiting for. The 26-minute quartet is all in one movement and all one basic beat, though there are many changes of idea and mood within it. I found it serene, the soul present and solemn, with occasional, brief outbursts of struggle. I [also] found a strand of optimism, created, perhaps, by the fragments quoted from Georgian folk songs, either in melody or rhythm. Kancheli built a collage here, with many phrases left abruptly hanging and many pauses; the music essentially soft and sparely designed, so every fine line could be followed as far as it went. The music was often tonal, always unhurried, with delicate threads and subtle colors, shot through with light. Yet despite its seeming fragments, the framework was always clear and sure, and the whole entirely contemporary. The music is deceptively simple, a refined understatement of powerful impact. It is so compelling that at the end, the performers sat as if frozen, their hands and bows still in mid-air. The audience paused, silent for the duration of a couple of long breaths, before the vociferous applause.
Philippa Kiraly, Seattle Post-Intelligencer,1/1/0001
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