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Five pieces for cello octet by four composers from the former Soviet union - Sofia Gubaidulina, originally from the Tatar Republic, Russian Alexander Knaifel, Uzbekistani Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky and Franghiz Ali-Zadeh from Azerbaijan - performed by the cellist Ivan Monighetti and his group. It's the fourth release on the Irish label developed by Louth Contemporary Music Society.

The cello octet Celli Monighetti was founded by the Russian cellist in 2002 from his current and former students at Basle Academy of Music. All the members of Celli Monighetti are prizewinners of international competitions. The group has performed at international festivals such as Schleswig Holstein in Germany, Viva Cello in Switzerland, Madrid Festival in Spain, Viana de Castello festival in Portugal. Collaborating with great living composers such as Gubaidulina, Knaifel and Yanov-Yanovsky is an essential part of Celli Monighetti's vision and an endless source of the inspiration.

The album takes its title from Franghiz Ali-Zadeh's work Shyshtar Metamorphoses. However, the name also refers to one of the oldest concepts in human creativity; and all five pieces relate to that concept at varying levels and in various ways - some of them profoundly so.

Perotin's Viderunt Omnes for eight cellos (doubling percussion), a Louth commission from Yanov-Yanovsky, is based upon one of the best-known pieces by one of the foundational composers of Western music, Pérotin or Perotinus. Ali-Zadeh's Shyshtar Metamorphoses combines elements of the traditional high-art music of Azerbaijan, Mugham, with Western compositional techniques. The cello version of Knaifel's O Comforter (originally a choral prayer addressed to the Holy Spirit) is written for a "choir of cellos" - a direction consistent with the composer's concept that much of his instrumental music is, in essence, vocal.

Gubaidulina is represented here by two works, On the Edge of the Abyss and Mirage: the Dancing Sun, both dating from 2002. The former, for seven cellos and two waterphones, epitomises why she has acquired a reputation as an innovative thinker with a profound aural imagination. The shimmering range of material of the latter is extraordinarily diverse for a piece lasting around 13 minutes.

Personnel: Ivan Monighetti, Chisaki Kito, , Kian Soltani, Gunta Abele, Marcis Kuplais, Astrig Siranossian, Mattieu Gutbub, Ileana Waldenmayer (cello), Maeve O'Hara (percussion, waterphone), Brian Dungan (percussion), Ileana Waldenmayer (waterphone)


  1. Name
  2. Dmitri Yanov Yanovsky: Viderunt Omnes (premiere recording)
  3. Franghiz Ali-Zadeh: Shyshtar Metamorphoses (premiere recording)
  4. Sofia Gubaidulina: On the Edge of the Abyss
  5. Alexander Knaifel: O, Comforter (premiere recording)
  6. Sofia Gubaidulina: Mirage: The Dancing Sun (premiere recording)
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