KHADIYA ZEYNALOVA (b.1975): 2 Miniatures for String Quartet, Sonata for Cello Solo, Sema for Viola and Accordion, 4 Impressions for Violin Solo, String Trio, Ateshgah for Accordion Solo, Journey to Love for Saz, Cello and Accordion, Bilder vom Land des Feuers for String Quartet, Soprano, Sax and Tape.
Catalogue Number: 09V069
Reference: DGCD 21117
Description: German-domiciled, Azerbaijani composer Zeynalova's music is infused with the traditional music of her native land, which, given its position on the map, is unsurprisingly very middle-eastern in its modal structure and harmonies. Until she was a teenager, Azerbaijan was part of the Soviet Union, and her mature style fuses neo-romanticism with an obvious admiration for Shostakovich in particular, the whole founded on Azerbaijani Mugham modes and traditional melodic structures. The substantial string quartet "Pictures from the Land of Fire" is an especially compelling example of this cultural amalgam. The piece incorporates the Saz, an Azerbaijani lute, and a sung passage in Mughal style, complete with microtonal inflections particular to the idiom. The work’s material is undoubtedly based on traditional music, but the transformation into a modern quartet lends it a discursive narrative potency. Journey to Love also includes the evocative sound of the Saz, and sounds like a narrative tone poem in sections on what might well be a traditional song - unfortunately the booklet is unhelpful here. Ateshgah for accordion (an instrument popular in Azerbaijan) clothes traditional-style melodies in rich romantic harmonies - an unusual take on the tradition of folk song transcription in concert music. The tautly argued String Trio is set somewhat apart from the other works here, being the most 'Soviet' in style and the most clearly indebted to Shostakovich (in what sounds like a tongue-in-cheek homage, the final cadences of several works here, even when rather unexpected, sound like deliberate nods to the Russian master). Khadiya Zeynalova (soprano), Pavel Efremov (accordion), Cumhur Topak (saz), David Filipe, Yanyan Kong (violins), Marina Eichberg (viola), Marko Simic (cello).