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Night Music: Voice in the Leaves

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Night Music: Voice in the Leaves
Night Music: Voice in the Leaves


The remarkable cellist Ivan Monighetti, Mstislav Rostropovich's last student at the Moscow Conservatory, is at the centre of a mesmerising album from Louth Contemporary Music Society. It's a recording that weaves together music by composers from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, once part of the ancient silk trading routes, in a voyage of discovery that stretches from Tashkent to Dundalk in Ireland.

The unique and colourful heritage of the countries that once made up the "Soviet Orient" is still very much apparent - symbolised in a very particular fashion in the opening work by Turkmenistan-born Iraida Yusupova. She now lives in Moscow, but her music has never ceased to evoke an exotic past: Kitezh-19 is a kind of Russian Atlantis, a mythical city that disappeared under water when the Mongols were about to attack, eerily suggested by theremin and tape.

The fantastic Night Music: Voice in the Leaves by Ukbek composer Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky was written for Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble in 2000. Ivan Moody says in the liner notes "Timbre is, in many ways, the connecting thread in this work, an extraordinary, delicate nocturne that seems to build up an electric atmosphere from almost no material." Yanov-Yanovsky's second piece, Morning, a setting of the American meditative poet, Robert Lax, is an LCMS commission, which was given its world première by the artists here, Ivan Monighetti, the Hilliard Ensemble and the EQ Ensemble conducted by Jean Thorel in Drogheda in April 2011.

Pieces by two female composers for Ivan Monighetti complete the disc. Sofia Gubaidulina (born in 1931 in what is now the Republic of Tartarstan) reworked an earlier piece as Repentance, for cello, three guitars and double-bass. It has in common with Azerbaijan-born Franghiz Ali-Zadeh's Ask Havasi (composed in 1998 as a 50th birthday present for the cellist) a long, ravishing "thread of silk" for solo cello.

Ivan Monighetti, born in 1944, has collaborated with many leading contemporary composers such as Penderecki, Xenakis, Dutilleux, Schnittke, Tan Dun, Gubaidulina, Alexander Knaifel and Valentin Silvestrov. He is founding director of the Moscow Early Music festival, a professor at the Basle Musikakademie, and has recorded widely for different labels, including Orfeo, Berlin Classics, Wergo, DUX and ECM.

Personnel: Ivan Monighetti (cello), The Hilliard Ensemble, Lydia Kavina (theremin), EQ Ensemble, Jean Thorel (conductor), Malachy Robinson (bass), Dublin Guitar Quartet


  1. Name
  2. Iraida Yusupova: Kitezh-19 (2004)
  3. Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky: Night Music: Voice in the Leaves (2000)
  4. Franghiz Ali-Zadeh: Ask Havas? (1998)
  5. Sofia Gubaidulina: Repentance (2008)
  6. Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky: Morning (2011)
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