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Giya Kancheli's Collection Of  SIMPLE MUSIC Set For Release April 2

Simple Music contains 33 "miniature" piano reductions drawn from the huge oeuvre of Georgian film and theater music composed by Giya Kancheli. 

Giya Kancheli's Collection Of  SIMPLE MUSIC Set For Release April 2

On Friday, April 2, 2021, Steinway & Sons releases SIMPLE MUSIC, a complete recording of the rarely heard book of 33 miniatures from music for stage and screen by Georgia's legendary composer Giya Kancheli, performed and reimagined by two intrepid masters of their instruments: pianist Jenny Lin and accordion virtuoso Guy Klucevsek.

Jenny Lin, "one of the most interesting pianists in America right now" (The Washington Post), commands a vast repertoire, from the most obscure modern music to the classic warhorses. An inveterate collector of sheet music, the score to Simple Music for Piano by Kancheli sat on her shelf for a decade-until she had the brainstorm to invite the beloved accordion avatar Guy Klucevsek to join her in an amplification of the complete set.

The idea floated between Lin and Klucevsek for some time, but it wasn't until summer of 2020 that the two sat down to record-hundreds of miles from each other. Made remotely in Virginia (Jenny Lin recorded at Sono Luminus Studios) and Klucevsek's home in Staten Island, the album is of our time, illuminating the power and possibility of music making during the COVID-19 pandemic. The result is stunningly beautiful, haunting in its simplicity, equally melancholic and lighthearted.

Giya Kancheli (1935-2019) is best known for his epic symphonies and choral requiems in the grand Soviet tradition of Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, and Schnittke. For most of his life, Kancheli was not known in the West; after Glasnost, his music was championed by stars including Dennis Russell Davies, Kurt Masur, Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Kim Kashkashian, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the Kronos Quartet. But he also enjoyed a long and successful career in theater and cinema, serving as Music Director of the Rustaveli Theatre in Tbilisi for 20 years, and writing soundtracks for many of the best-loved Soviet films.

Kancheli describes Simple Music on the title page of the score: "While dedicating myself to symphonic and chamber music, I simultaneously wrote music for the stage and screen. No wonder, then, that certain themes originally intended for plays and films made their way into my larger works or that the large forms themselves sometimes contained episodes reminiscent of incidental music. I myself can't always remember where a particular theme first appeared, not least because the vast majority of more than a hundred of the films and plays for which I wrote music have now passed into history. So I have decided to revive some lost fragments in the collection of 33 miniatures. Time will tell if they can survive outside of their original context. Meanwhile, I'll allow myself to give a little advice to anyone interested in these humble sketches: The simplicity of presentation does not preclude but rather encourages freedom of interpretation, particularly for those with a gift for improvising..."

Guy Klucevsek says: "The Kancheli pieces are drop-dead gorgeous; I also love his sense of humor. His comments about how performers could approach these pieces made me feel he was encouraging us to improvise, arrange and even reimagine, not unlike the way we might approach pieces from The American Songbook, for example. In the duos, I thought of my added lines as an arranging technique. For my solo versions, I thought about how these pieces might have been different had they been created for accordion instead of piano or orchestra."

Simple Music is the latest in a long list of vital recordings made possible with the support of tireless music advocate Anthony B. Creamer III. The album features liner notes by Ethan Iverson and a cover made exclusively for the recording by renowned painter Terry Winters.

SIMPLE MUSIC TRACK LIST

Giya Kancheli, composer
Jenny Lin, piano • Guy Klucevsek, accordion
April 2, 2021 Steinway & Sons

  1. King Lear (1987) Play by William Shakespeare, directed by Robert Sturua.
  2. The Eccentrics (1973) Film by Eldar Shengelaya and Rezo Gabriadze.
  3. When Almonds Blossomed (1972) Film by Lana Gogoberidze.
  4. Extraordinary Exhibition (1969) Film by Eldar Shengelaya and Rezo Gabriadze.
  5. As You Like It (1978) Play by William Shakespeare, directed by Robert Sturua.
  6. Don Quixote (1988) Film by Revaz Chkheidze. F minor.
  7. Kin-Dza-Dza (1986) Film by Georgi Danelia and Rezo Gabriadze.
  8. Mimino (1977) Film by Georgi Danelia and Rezo Gabriadze.
  9. Mother Courage and Her Children (1988) Play by Bertolt Brecht, directed by Robert Sturua.
  10. Twelfth Night (2002) Play by William Shakespeare, directed by Robert Sturua.
  11. The Blue Mountains (1984) Film by Eldar Shengelaya and Revaz Cheishvili.
  12. Waiting for Godot (2002) Play by Samuel Beckett, directed by Robert Sturua.
  13. Richard III (1979) Play by William Shakespeare, directed by Robert Sturua.
  14. Khanuma (1968) Play by Avksenti Tsagareli, directed by Robert Sturua.
  15. The Caucasian Chalk Circle (1975) Play by William Shakespeare, directed by Robert Sturua.
  16. The Role for a Beginner (1979) Play by Tamaz Chiladze, directed by Robert Sturua.
  17. Richard III (1979) Play by William Shakespeare, directed by Robert Sturua.
  18. The Caucasian Chalk Circle (1975) Play by William Shakespeare, directed by Robert Sturua / Extraordinary Exhibition (1969) Film by Eldar Shengelaya and Rezo Gabriadze / Khanuma (1968) Play by Avksenti Tsagareli, directed by Robert Sturua.
  19. The Crucibles (1968) Play by Arthur Miller, directed by Robert Sturua.
  20. Hamlet (1992) Play by William Shakespeare, directed by Robert Sturua.
  21. Twelfth Night (2001) Play by William Shakespeare, directed by Robert Sturua.
  22. Don't Grieve (1969) Film by Georgi Danelia and Rezo Gabriadze.
  23. Bear's Kiss (2002) Film by Sergei Bodrov.
  24. Kin-Dza-Dza (1986) Film by Georgi Danelia and Rezo Gabriadze.
  25. Hamlet (1992) Play by William Shakespeare, directed by Robert Sturua.
  26. Earth, This Is Your Son (1980) Film by Revaz Chkheidze.
  27. Tears Were Falling (1982) Film by Georgi Danelia.
  28. Cinema (1977) Film by Liana Eliava.
  29. The Caucasian Chalk Circle (1975) Play by William Shakespeare, directed by Robert Sturua.
  30. The Role for a Beginner (1979) Play by Tamaz Chiladze, directed by Robert Sturua.
  31. Sunny Night (1966) Play by Nodar Dumbadze, directed by Robert Sturua.
  32. Mother Courage and Her Children (1988) Play by Bertolt Brecht, directed by Robert Sturua.
  33. Romeo and Juliet (2004) Play by William Shakespeare, directed by Robert Sturua.

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