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Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica

The young Kremerata Baltica won fans with the adaptations on their Eight Seasons CD, which combines the nuevo tango of Astor Piazzolla with Vivaldiís Four Seasons. On their second recording, master Latvian violinist Gidon Kremerís evocative technique shapes the ensembleís spirited grace on a selection of meditative 20th-century works, as they apply traditional stylings to modern motifs. For Philip Glassís Company, which was recorded as String Quartet #2 by the Kronos Quartet in 1986, Kremer adapts a more deliberate pace, and the Kremerataís exacting performance bathes the original in lush textures. On Come In!, by Russian composer Vladimir Martynov, they give full play to the pieceís symphonic pastoral romanticism.

The CD also features a sharp first recording of Arvo Pärtís short, Gypsy-flavored Darf Ich. But the standout is an edgy new version of Pärtís Tabula Rasa. This is a dramatic favorite from Kremerís repertoire, and his crew have honed the prepared piano part and given the violin solos some breathing room. And in the intensely melancholy 18-minute second movement, Kremer and guest violinist Tatjana Grindenko (who shares his gift for pure, soaring tone), develop the icy themes with instruments that cry as desperately as any human could.


Issue Date: March 8 - 15, 2001

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