Sofia Gubaidulina studied piano and composition with both Grigory Kogan and Nikolai Peiko, Shostakovich’s assistant, at the Moscow Conservatory. Active as a composer since 1963, she has received numerous awards and prizes, including the Rome International Composition Competition (1974), the Prix de Monaco (1987), the Japanese Praemium Imperiale (Tokyo, 1998), the Stockholm Concert Hall Foundation’s Honorary Medal in Gold (2000), the Goethe Medal of the City of Weimar (2001) as well as the Living Composer Prize in the Cannes Classical Awards 2003.
A striking feature of Gubaidulina’s work is the almost total absence of ‘absolute’ music. The vast majority of her pieces have an extra-musical dimension, e.g. a poem, either set to music or hidden between the lines; a ritual; or some kind of instrumental ‘action’.
This release represents the first time that the complete guitar works of Sofia Gubaidulina have been available on a single CD, including the world première recording of her Toccata.
Sofia Gubaidulina has found a soulfulness and freedom in the guitar which speaks to her musical language of expressive mood and often mysterious but precise sonorities. In both Repentance and Sotto Voce she combines guitars with lower stringed instruments, creating a virtuosic, multi-dimensional and deeply poetic role for each voice. Fascinating new sounds from the guitar are produced, from the most eloquent chorales to remarkable effects using a drinking glass. The earlier Serenade is ‘music for pleasure’, while this première recording of the Toccata reveals a work with a driving momentum that hardly stops.
Listen to an extract from Sotto Voce
About the Artists
Guitarist David Tanenbaum has performed with prominent orchestras around the world, and with such eminent conductors as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kent Nagano and John Adams. Among the many works composed for him are Hans Werner Henze’s guitar concerto: An Eine Äolsharfe, four works by Pulitzer Prize-winner Aaron Jay Kernis, plus works by Terry Riley, Lou Harrison and Roberto Sierra. David Tanenbaum is Chair of the Guitar Department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
First prize winner in the 1989 International Guitar Foundation of America competition, Marc Teicholz has toured throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Russia. He has also visited Southeast Asia under the auspices of the United States Information Agency's Artistic Ambassador programme and appeared as soloist with orchestras in Spain, Portugal, California and Hawaii.
Guitarist Paul Psarras has embraced many musical styles throughout his career, from world to classical. In 2010 he performed with the San Francisco Symphony with conductor/composer John Adams in the latter’s oratorio, El Niño. As a soloist he has appeared with various orchestras performing Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez.
The French-born guitarist Thomas Viloteau has won awards in numerous international competitions, including first prize at the Segovia Competition (Spain), Mottola (Italy), Ville d’Antony (France), Sernancelhe (Portugal) and in 2006, only nine years after he started playing, the Guitar Foundation of America International Competition.
Jodi Levitz is Professor of Viola and Chair of Strings and Chamber Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Violist of the Ives Quartet, for twelve years she was the principal violist of the Italian chamber orchestra I Solisti Veneti. Jodi Levitz performs as soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, the Americas and the Far East.
Peter Wyrick has been Associate Principal Cellist of the San Francisco Symphony since 1999. He is active as a soloist, chamber musician, teacher and orchestral musician. Peter Wyrick was one of the last students of Leonard Rose at The Juilliard School, and plays on a David Tecchler cello, made in Rome, circa 1724.
Mark Wright has been a member of the San Francisco Symphony bass section since 1986. He has also served as principal bass of the Colorado Philharmonic (National Repertory Orchestra), the Flint Symphony Orchestra and the Ann Arbor Chamber Orchestra. During the 1990-1991 season, he performed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Scott Pingel became principal bass of the San Francisco Symphony in 2004, after serving as principal bass of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, performing with the Metropolitan Opera, the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, and the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra. He is a faculty member of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.