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An album like an intense journey, tied together by Kim Kashkashian's outstanding musical personality, this is a perfect addition to her wide-ranging ECM discography, highlighting the most touching vocal qualities of the viola in intriguing works by Olivero, Steinberg and Mansurian.

Nostalgia and feelings of separation and suffering due to the political situations in Israel and Armenia form a common thread throughout Kim Kashkashian's CD. The compositions - melodious and complex - are by three important masters who incorporate tonality in their contemporary musical language. In particular, Betty Olivero's Nehar¾t is one of those unforgettable pieces with the potential to stick in listener's minds and to become a radio hit.

With five pieces respectively based on traditional laments of the Near East, Armenian chant and Hasidic melody, the focus is on essentially vocal expressiveness. Israeli Betty Olivero started work on 'Nehar¾t Nehar¾t' in response to the suffering and pain caused by the war in Lebanon in 2006. Her hypnotic lament for viola and chamber orchestra draws on allusions to Kurdish and north African songs, traditional oriental music and Monteverdi. The viola's singing abilities come even more to the fore in Tigran Mansurian's Three Arias - sung out the window facing Mount Ararat which articulate the Armenian people's longing for the holy mountain beyond the border. Rava Deravin by Israeli Eitan Steinberg is based on a melody for a poem by one of the greatest traditional kabbalists and was first conceived for voice and instrumental ensemble. According to the composer, Kashkashian "manages to cry the prayer from within the strings, to murmur the sacred text with no words".

Personnel: Kim Kashkashian (viola), M³nchener Kammerorchester, Alexander Liebreich (conductor), Robyn Schulkowsky (percussion), Tigran Mansurian (piano), Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Gil Rose (conductor), Kuss Quartet


  1. Name
  2. Betty Olivero: Neharót Neharót for viola, accordion, percussion, two string ensembles and tape
  3. Tigran Mansurian: Tagh of the Funeral of the Lord for viola and percussion
  4. Komitas: Oror for piano
  5. Mansurian: Three Arias - Sung Out the Window Facing Mount Ararat I. Andante ma non troppo
  6. Mansurian: Three Arias - Sung Out the Window Facing Mount Ararat II. Tranquillo, poco libero
  7. Mansurian: Three Arias - Sung Out the Window Facing Mount Ararat III. Lento, ma non troppo
  8. Eitan Steinberg: Rava Deravin for viola and string quartet
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