BMG Melodiya CD 74321 49958-2
I wonít repeat what I wrote about these two works earlier about the Telarc CD with these works, except to say that they are every bit as haunting in the newly reissued Russian performances as in the Flemish ones on Telarc. Thatís not surprising when you have Bashmet as soloist in a piece written for and dedicated to him: his soaring, plangent tone seems to be made for Kancheliís music and vice versa. More surprising, perhaps, is that France Springuel, playing the cello version, is hardly less breathtaking (and the Telarc recording allows more subtlety of perspective than the 1991 Melodiya). Thereís also little to choose between the performances of Bright Sorrow.
Kancheliís cantata in memory of child victims of war is a risky concept, consciously echoing Brittenís War Requiem, but thereís never a hint of sentimentality in its deeply felt memorializing. Dzansug Kakhidze is the conductor most closely associated with Kancheli over the years, but Rudolf Werthen has a wonderful instinct for the music too. Melodiyaís recording, 1987 vintage, is fine, Telarcís even finer.
Both issues have excellent booklet-essays; Melodiya give the more correct translation of Bright (rather than Light) Sorrow. Much inspiration to be had then, whichever issue you plump for.
Gramophone, June 1998