Efrem Podgaits: “The Double Mirror“ concerto for cello, bayan and orchestra was written at the request of my friend Friedrich Lips, the outstanding bayanist. The epigraph to the composition are lines from the novel Middlemarch by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans): “Like a double mirror, the Soul will give birth to rows of beautiful reflections, extending them forward and backward“.
“Double Mirror“ is a one-part composition in the center of which there are two heroes: a bayan and a cello. The author tried to follow each of them and how the relationship between them and the orchestra is developing. In form, this is a short story, the characters of which find themselves in a variety of situations.
There is also a plot - a meeting of the main characters, lyrics and dramatic collisions, light irony and an enlightened ending. The idea of a “mirror“ is expressed not only in the fact that episodes from the past and from the future appear in the composition. The concert uses author's themes from works of different years: “Lullaby“ (romance on the stage of R.M. Rilke), Barcarole for piano, Strange dances for bassoon and piano in 4 hands. The culmination is the theme of Miserere and Credo, and in the code - Hosanna (from “Spring Mass“ for children's choir and organ). In one of the development episodes, the solo bayan plays the theme of the song “Milord“ from the repertoire of Edith Piaf, which the author included in his Partita for violin, cello and harpsichord in 1979.
The main theme of the concert is also mirrored: starting from the middle, all its sounds go in the reverse order (cancer), as if a mirror is attached to the central sound and the second part of the theme is a mirror reflection of its first part.“ The bayan and cello are among the composer's favorite instruments. For each of them, the author has created many compositions: solo, ensembles of various compositions (including Ave Maria for cello and bayan), concerts with an orchestra. In the "Double Mirror" concert, the author uses almost all modern techniques of playing the bayan, for example, such as tremolo, ricochet, untempered glissando and the air button. Many of these techniques are analogous to those of the cello.
For one of the most famous composers of modern Russia, Alexander Tchaikovsky, this is the first solo work for bayan. Previously, he used the instrument in an ensemble with other folk instruments as part of a symphony orchestra in the “Garden Symphony“. The beauty of the intonation sphere and the originality of the shaping of the two-part cycle give confidence that the bayan repertoire has been replenished with a new, very interesting and meaningful work.
Mikhail Bronner's Suite “Jewish Holidays“ consists of 4 genre sketches, each of which uses authentic folk melodies. As the composer himself says: “The Jewish sages taught that devotion to God is expressed through chant rather than words.“ (“Song is the soul of the universe - the best means of achieving salvation“).
Passover is the central Jewish holiday commemorating the exodus of the Jews from Egypt (liberation from slavery).
Simkhes-Toyre is a holiday of giving of the Torah.
Hanukkah is a holiday in honor of the defeat and expulsion of the Greco-Syrian troops from the Temple Mount.
It is interesting that even in seemingly cheerful holiday songs one can hear shades of inescapable sadness, joy in a minor key.
In the name Dolce appassionato, two apparently “incompatible“ concepts come together:
Dolce - (Italian) soft, gentle
Appassionato - (Italian) passionately
And according to the author, only love can unite these two concepts.
Clément Doucet is a Belgian pianist. After completing his academic education, he became a well-known pianist and performed his arrangements of classical music in music salons.