Kevin Tuite <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>I would like to know, first of all, if any of you are already familiar
>with Glonti's work, and what you think of it. I would also appreciate
>any comments on how to improve the web page & what further information
>I ought to publish there.
My dear friend Christine Labroche drew my attention to this post. I am
delighted to know that Felix Glonti is still active and to learn more
about his music, since he is hardly mentioned in standard books (Frans
C. Lemaire does say a few words in his book about Russia's and former
USSR's 20th century composers, ed. Fayard). Before I visited Kevin's
webpage, I only knew two recordings of Glonti's music: one is devoted
to the Romantic symphony, which I thought was No. 5, and the other to
the two concertante symphonies, Marienbad Elegy and Wanderjahre.
The most convincing of the three pieces is, to my ears, Marienbad
Elegy (Marienbaduli Eledjia). A concertante symphony for cello and
orchestra, it is the most lyrical but does not indulge either in cheap
sentimentality or in derivative neo-Romanticism, thanks to its sheer
intensity and "plasticity". The orchestral writing is at once terse,
almost raw, and sensuous, powerful. The style may come as a surprise
both to Kancheli-admirers - little of the latter's suspended atemporality
is to be found in Glonti's passionate, densely eventful work - and to
devotees of more neo-Classical pieces such as Tsintsadze's or Taktakishvili's.
All in all, I found that particular work to be one of the most persuasive
concertant works for cello written since 1945, as is another Sinfonia
concertante, Gosta Nystroem's, albeit in a different vein. Wanderjahre
is somewhat dryer, more dramatic and I did not endear to it as much, but
it still demonstrates Glonti's excellent craft.
The Romantic Symphony is in the grand manner. I understand that its
premiere was less than successful. Probably some found it too subjective
to match the official requests and others too old-fashioned. Its weakness,
to my ears, lies in its slight lack of internal cohesion. It is a sequel
of episodes, some of them quite arresting, more than a large fresco with
a sustained level of inspiration. The large excerpt from Symphony No.
6 to be heard on Kevin's page seems more accomplished and gripping.
I tried to contact the Georgian Music Information Centre twice, to
no avail so far. I wished to know more about Glonti and Kevin's page
addresses this need. I do hope that it will expand and encourage record
companies to take interest in this truly interesting and sincere composer.
I was also curious about Mshvelidze's 3rd symphony, which might be more
than a good sample of exotic Realist-Socialist style, as well as Nasidze's