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Accordionist Geir Draugsvoll makes world première recording of Gubaidulina’s Fachwerk

May 18, 2011

NAXOS will mark composer Sofia Gubaidulina’s 80th Birthday on 24 October 2011 with a world première recording of her latest work “Fachwerk” (“Timber Framing”), arranged for bayan (classical accordion), percussion, and strings, dedicated to and performed by the Norwegian classical accordionist Geir Draugsvoll. Draugsvoll, joined by percussionist Anders Loguin and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra strings section conducted by Øyvind Gimse, recently completed the recording with invaluable inspiration from the composer, who attended the sessions.

See a video clip from the rehearsals

Composer Sofia Gubaidulina gives the following explanation of “Fachwerk”:

“The title of this work can be traced back to my enthusiasm for the architectural style of timber framing. This is a highly specialised, unique style, in which the constructive elements of a building are not hidden behind the building façade, but, on the contrary, are shown openly. The constructive elements which are indispensable for such a building, such as wall struts, window and door latches and beam ceilings, form different kinds of geometrical patterns which become an aesthetic phenomenon. And at times, a still more profound phenomenon shines through from behind this beauty, an essential, intrinsic phenomenon.

I imagined that one could show something in music reminiscent of this style, i.e. compose in such a way that the construction of a certain instrument would become visible and transformed into something of an aesthetic nature.

One musical instrument does in fact exist which makes it possible to realise this idea. It is the bayan, on which one can switch the keyboard from the melodic mode to the chordal mode. In one and the same row of buttons, one has the dynamics of a melodic line above or below and, at the same time, the stasis of chord sounds in the middle of the sound area at one’s disposal.

In this structure, in principle, there is a dominant (the melodic line above), a subdominant (the melodic line below) and a tonic (chords in the centre of the system): three aspects that determine the essence of order in the universe.

In my composition for bayan, percussion and strings, I have tried to show this characteristic of the instrument in the cadencing moments of a variation form. In one of the most important sections, however, the succession of chords of the keyboard played in the chordal mode sounds simultaneously with its melodic variant. And here, I could say without exaggeration that this section was composed by the instrument itself.”

The release concert will take place on 8 of October at the Trondheim Cathedral, Norway. Other concert performances in 2011 include Kammerakademie Potsdam on 17 September, tour of Sweden 14–17 October (Camerata Nordica), and London Symphony Orchestra/Gergiev’s performances 21–24 November, in Luxembourg, Frankfurt and at the London Barbican.

Sofia Gubaidulina Biography & Discography

Geir Draugsvoll Discography


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