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Dobrinka Tabakova: String Paths

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Dobrinka Tabakova: String Paths
Dobrinka Tabakova: String Paths


ECM New Series presents the first full album devoted to the composer Dobrinka Tabakova, who was born in Bulgaria in 1980, raised from a young age in London, and is now a British citizen. This remarkable recording of her orchestral and chamber compositions for strings is richly melodic, texturally sensuous, and often emotionally radiant.

The disc features Tabakova's Concerto for Cello & Strings and the Rameau-channeling Suite in Old Style for viola and chamber orchestra - both performed by the Lithuanian 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, leading the septet heard in Such Different Paths, and several of Tabakova's former conservatory colleagues from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama: violinist Roman Mints, violist and conductor Maxim Rysanov, and Kristina Blaumane, principal cellist of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tabakova's music has a particularly 21st-century feel for its broad palette - its free mix of tonality and modality, of folk-music influence and the example of past masters. In it 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 displays a gift for direct communication that can be heard in virtually every measure.

Personnel: Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Maxim Rysanov (viola, conductor), Kristina Blaumane, Torleif Thedéen, Boris Andrianov (cello), Roman Mints, Janine Jansen, Julia-Maria Kretz (violin), Amihai Grosz (viola), Raimondas Sviackevicius (accordion), Donatas Bagurskas, Stacey Watton (double bass), Vaiva Eidukaityte-Storastiene (harpsichord)


  1. Name
  2. Insight
  3. Concerto for Cello and Strings, I. (Turbulent, tense)
  4. II. (Longing)
  5. III. (Radiant)
  6. Frozen River Flows
  7. Suite in Old Style, Prelude: Fanfare from the Balconies, I. Through mirrored corridors
  8. II. The Rose garden, by moonlight
  9. III. Riddle of the barrel-organ player / Postlude: Hunting and Finale
  10. Such different paths
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