Recorded for the first time on one album, this release features Hindemith’s complete works for violin and piano and the rarely recorded “Kleine Sonata” for Viola D’amore and piano. Hindemith’s reputation as a master composer, viola virtuoso and dominant pedagogue — who, being able to play practically every standard instrument (and a few non-standard ones), expected the same from his students — has tended to obscure the fact that he first came to attention not as a composer or violist but as a violinist. Roman Mints has had a lifelong love of the works of Paul Hindemith, which began when he was a young violinist, studying in Moscow in the 1980s. He says “This music, written not just before I was born but closer to the time of my grandparents’ birth, felt completely contemporary, and daringly advanced in its sound — and not just to me, as it turns out: 30 years on, Hindemith is still regarded by concert programmers as too difficult for the wider public. I put Sonata in D on the stand. I was gripped by the first subject, constructed from seconds and sevenths, marked to be played ‘with stony defiance.’ I was never the same again and he became my window into contemporary music.”
Roman Mints (violin)
Alexander Kobrin (piano)
SONATA FOR VIOLIN & PIANO IN D, Op.11 No.2 (1918)
SONATA FOR VIOLA D’AMORE & PIANO, “KLEINE SONATE”, Op.25 No.2 (1922)
SONATA FOR VIOLIN & PIANO IN E (1935)
MEDITATION, FROM THE BALLET “NOBILISSIMA VISIONE” (1938)
SONATA FOR VIOLIN & PIANO IN C (1939)
Featuring the mesmerizing and deeply beautiful music of Leonid Desyatnikov, one of today’s most treasured and frequently-performed living Russian composers, and including the world premiere recording of the 1992 work Sketches to Sunset, and the Russian Seasons. Supervised by the composer, the new recording features renowned violinist Roman Mints with the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra and the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Philipp Chizhevsky.
Roman Mints (violin)
Yana Ivanilova (soprano)
Alexey Goribol (piano)
Brno Philharmonic Orchestra
Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra
Philipp Chizhevsky (conductor)
Russian Seasons for violin, voice and strings (2000)
A new recording of Alfred Schnittke’s Works for Violin and Piano, Suite in Old Style for Viola D’Amore, Harpsichord and Percussion is released on Quartz Music on Friday 27 May. Featuring Roman Mints and his friend and colleague Katya Apekisheva, one of Europe’s most renowned pianists, the disc also features Olga Martynova on harpsichord, with Andrey Doynikov and Dmitri Vlassik on percussion.
Roman Mints: violin
Katya Apekisheva: piano
Olga Martynova: harpsichord
Andrey Doynikov: percussion
Dmitri Vlassik: percussion
SUITE IN OLD STYLE
A selection of chamber works by Elena Langer (b.1974, Moscow), notable for their playful counterpoint and delicate textures. The London-based composer delights in exploring the endless soundworlds of voices and instruments.
‘Landscape With Three People’ dates from 2013, with texts by poet Lee Harwood.
Elena moved to London to complete her degrees first at the Royal College of Music and then at the Royal Academy of Music. She has studied with Julian Anderson, Simon Bainbridge, Gerard McBurney and taken lessons with Sofia Gubaidulina (Centre Acanthes, France), Dmitri Smirnov, Jo Kondo and Jonathan Harvey. In 2002 and 2003 Elena was the first ever composer-in-residence at the Almeida Theatre, London.
She has received commissions and performances from organisations such as The Royal Opera House’s ROH2, Zurich Opera, Carnegie Hall, The Britten and Strauss Festival in Aldeburgh, Park Lane Group, St. Petersburg’s Music Spring, Chamber Music Series “XX/XXI” of the Bayerische Staatsoper (Germany). This recording project was generously funded by Blyth Valley Chamber Music, the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust and a large number of individuals. The new CD will be launched in parallel with the first public performances in Cardiff of the composer’s ‘Figaro Gets A Divorce’, a new opera for Welsh National Opera under David Pountney.
“[Landscape with Three People] nimble and light, sensual without forcing the point, folksy but not quite fey; whimsical, in the deconstructed manner of Berio or Nono. The two voices lilt together [and]…the performance is excellent — especially from Dennis, whose voice is beautifully grainy but still laced with metal. The album also contains older Langer songs including the haunting Russian lament Tucha and a feverish 17-minute monologue called Ariadne.” —Kate Molleson, The Guardian
Elena Langer: Landscape With Three People
Elena Langer: Snow
Elena Langer: The Storm Cloud (Tucha)
Elena Langer: Two Cat Songs
Elena Langer: Ariadne
Elena Langer: Stay O Sweet
A new release by the multi-award winning Russian violinist Roman Mints. Each piece on this recording has been chosen by the artist for very personal reasons. It includes the notable premiere of Dobrinka Tabakova’s Spinning a Yarn, for violin and Russian Hurdy-Gurdy (kolesnaya lira) written especially by the composer for Roman Mints.
The recording premieres the use of Spatial Orchestration, a concept created by Mints to give the listener a unique understanding of each track. To find the right sound for each piece of music, Roman has used different place settings for the microphone, as well as moving his instrument around the studio, allowing his personal interpretation to enhance the final experience.
“The Moscow-born violinist Roman Mints, who deserves to be better known in the UK, introduces new or unfamiliar solo works in this fascinating recital disc. First off is the earliest of the works, which has obsessed Mints since college days: Ysaye’s Sonata in A minor(1923), a fiercely virtuosic work inspired by Bach’s G minor sonata. However much the work may once have eluded him, Mints plays it with conviction and insight here. A melancholy work by Dobrinka Tabakova (b.1980), Spinning a Yarn, uses a hurdy gurdy too, and draws on the notion of storytelling. Schnittke’s idiosyncratic tribute to Paganini, a Piazzolla tango – Etude No. 2, Anxieux e rubato – and Postlude by Valentin Silvestrov make up this varied and often haunting disc.” —Fiona Maddocks, The Observer
Eugene Ysaye: Sonata Op. 27, No. 2
ECM New Series presents the first full album devoted to the music of Dobrinka Tabakova, a composer born in Bulgaria in 1980 but raised from a young age in London. In Tabakova’s music – richly melodic, texturally sensuous, often emotionally radiant – there resides the new and the familiar, or rather the familiar within the new, and vice versa; there are the spirits of East and West coursing through the pieces, usually hand in hand; and just as the composer’s technical virtuosity is apparent, she possesses a desire, and a gift, for direct communication that can be heard in virtually every measure. The recording features Tabakova’s Concerto for Cello & Strings and the Rameau-channeling Suite in Old Style for viola and chamber orchestra, as well as three chamber works: the string trio Insight, the string septet Such Different Paths and a trio for violin, accordion and double-bass, Frozen River Flows. The performers include star violinist Janine Jansen and several of Tabakova’s former conservatory colleagues: violinist Roman Mints, violist-conductor Max Rysanov and cellist Kristina Blaumane, principal with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Kristina Blaumane: cello
Maxim Rysanov: viola, conductor
Janine Jansen, Roman Mints, Julia-Maria Kretz: violin
Amihai Grosz: viola
Torleif Thedéen, Boris Andrianov: cello
Raimondas Sviackevičius: accordion
Vaiva Eidukaitytė-Storastienė: harpsichord
Donatas Bagurskas, Stacey Watton: double bass
Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra
ECM New Series 2239
“The performances are as formidably assured as the roster of musicians would suggest…If not revelatory, Tabakova’s is still a thoughtful and approachable new voice which ought to secure an enthusiastic following.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2013
“she’s brilliant at seizing your attention…Tabakova’s Suite in Old Style for viola and chamber orchestra won’t frighten anyone – an affectionate baroque pastiche which does plumb genuine depths…ECM’s sound is, as usual, rich and detailed.” The Arts Desk, 1st June 2013
“Tabakova may be Bulgarian-born but she has drunk deep from the British pastoral spring. Her music is tonal, unequivocally emotional and tuneful…Revel in this – you cannot help but be emotionally moved.” MusicWeb International, 16th July 2013
“Tabakova writes for her chosen instruments with disarming naturalness and enthusiasm…Contemporary music, in short, that’s amazingly easy on the ear.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2013 *****
Concerto for Cello and Strings
Suite in Old Style
Alexei Goribol, piano
Anton Dressler, clarinet
Anna Panina, violin
Fedor Lednev, conductor
Pavel Stepin, double bass
Serj Poltavski, viola
Evgeny Rumyantsev, cello
Petr Kondrashin, cello
Dmitri Sharov, trombone
Yuri Kolosov, trombone
Kirill Koloskov, trombone
Dmitri Vlassik, timpani
Asya Sorshneva, violin
“All the performances on this disc are exemplary and present the music in splendid fashion. Leonid Desyatnikov has something remarkable to say in his music, and I hope that many will afford themselves the opportunity to hear him say it.” —David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare
The innovative and provocative first album by the recently performed partnership of Paul Dunmall and Roman Mints. These two acclaimed creators and performers of new music have come together to produce an album that explores experimental and beautiful sound worlds.
Paul Dunmall, saxophone
Roman Mints, violin
“ Mr. Dunmall is certainly one of the best living avant/jazz saxists and blew some minds once again at the Vision Fest earlier this year (June of 2008), as well as a few days later at the Living Theatre with Tony Malaby, Mark Helias and Kevin Norton. The Living Theatre set was recorded for Clean Feed and should be out in the not too distant future. I hadn’t heard of the classical violinist, Roman Mints, before this disc but he is well respected on the other side of the pond and has recorded the works of Alfred Schnittke, Elena Langer and Ed Bennett.
“This disc appears to be an entirely improvised acoustic duo. I love the way the duo work with similar sounds and textures. The seem to float together and swirl around one another closely, both playing cautiously and taking their time to come together. What is interesting is that Dunmall often sounds different than usual, his sound and interaction complementing Roman’s expressive yet controlled sound perfectly. Both players blend their sound and bend their notes so that it is difficult to tell who is starting a phrase and who is ending one. There is a section on the third track where the soprano sounds like a distant ship passing in a fog while the violin sounds like a flock of birds flying overhead. That is the thing about great improvised music, when it works, it takes us on a journey or tells us a story, creating a scene and then letting the scene evolve. When both players get rambunctious, it gets quite exciting and erupts into an incredible conversation.” —DMG Newsletter
Roman Mints, violin
Maxim Rysanov, viola
Kristine Blaumane, cello
New Prague Sinfonia
West Kazakhstan Philharmonic Orchestra
Mikel Toms, conductor
“The Russian violinist Roman Mints demonstrates a huge talent in this stimulating disc of contemporary works…The emotive demands of the solo part require Mints to scale vertiginous heights: as a showpiece of hysterical lament, Elena Langer’s Platch succeeds admirably… With the version [of Schnittke’s Concerto for Three] by its dedicatees Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet and Rostropovich currently unavailable this is a highly competitive account.” —BBC Music Magazine
“Another first-rate performance rounds out a highly recommended issue, which even the most conservative of readers should urgently seek out.” —International Record Review
Alfred Schnittke: Concerto for Three
A remarkable album of works written specially for the celebrated Russian violinist Roman Mints. Technical virtuosity and state-of-the-art electronic manipulation combine to produce a startling, atmospheric and highly original CD.
“In its use of solo violin and electronics, Game Over is a virtuoso album.” —The Wire
“Mints is to be commended for such an enterprising disk, recorded with pristine clarity and aided by informative notes. I look forward to hearing more from this source.” —Gramophone
“…This is a really good album. The music is moody, but not overly so. It is experimental while staying approachable…It should appeal to a broad variety of listeners. The generation raised on video games, movies and television will find this a brand of instrumental music that seems relevant to today’s world. It is, quite possibly, a harbinger of the future of classical music.” —MusicWeb International
“… his playing is the star of the show. His conviction and sensitivity make a case for violinist as moody film hero, beneath a streetlamp and tuggling on a cigarette.” —The Strad
Roman Mints, violin
Elena Chudinovich, piano
“This fine Russian violinist, who studied at the Royal College of Music in London, came to notice with a memorable appearance in the PLG Young Artists series (reviewed in Seen&Heard, January 2000). His debut CD, made when he was just 23, covers similar repertoire. … Black Box’s recording is impeccable and their stylish presentation, in black, white and silver, is both informative and a pleasure to handle. A very desirable CD.” —Peter Grahame Woolf, MusicWeb International
Artem Vassiliev: Five Pieces for violin & piano
Krzystof Penderecki: Minatury for Violin and Piano
Elena Langer: Transformations for Violin and Piano
“…what really matters is his ability to work with each of the selections on the composer’s own terms. There is no questioning the technical skill he brings to each of the pieces he performs. More important, however, is his acute awareness of where the music actually resides beneath the surface level of all the marks on the score pages.”—Examiner.com