SOFIA GUBAIDULINA (b.1931): Complete Guitar Works - Repentance for 3 Guitars, Cello and Double Bass (Thomas Viloteau, Paul Psarras [second and third guitars], Peter Wyrick [cello], Mark Wright [double bass]), Serenade, Toccata (World Premiere Recording), Sotto Voce for 2 Guitars, Viola and Double Bass (Marc Teicholz [second guitar], Jodi Levitz [viola], Scott Pingel [double bass]).
Catalogue Number: 06Q076
Description: Repentance and Sotto Voce are the major works here, both featuring the fascinating sonorities of multiple guitars and the composer's characteristic virtuosic treatment of the lower strings. Both also contain examples of Gubaidulina's amazingly fertile creativity in inventing completely new and utterly musical sonorities from conventional instruments - for instance, Remembrance contains an extraordinary passage that sounds electronic, produced entirely through acoustic means, Sotto Voce has an unearthly chordal glissando effect produced with a glass cylinder on the strings, and there are aggressive detuned strumming impacts that could be excerpted from the wildest effusions of avant-garde rock; a toe-tapping passage in Sotto Voce (rhythm section on the instrument bodies) is priceless. Equally noteworthy, though, is the expressive purpose to which this panoply of technical innovations is put; the stately chorales of Remembrance and the long arching melodies that provide the source material for both works are of the highest level of musical inspiration. The miniature Serenade and Toccata are early and relatively conventional, but not unoriginal, especially the latter, which departs strikingly from the harmonic conventions of such guitar pieces while retaining the gestural and rhythmic ones. David Tannenbaum (guitar).