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Album review: Victor Kissine, Between Two Waves (ECM New Series)


The Russian composer Victor Kissine's work has been accurately described as possessing a “reticent musical language”, a characteristic skilfully demonstrated by Gidon Kremer's Kremerata Baltica on this album of three chamber-music premieres.

The gestures are tiny, as when “Between Two Waves” opens with rippling piano figures at the limit of audibility, or “Duo (after Osip Mandelstam)” begins even more stealthily, with two minutes of virtual silence from which eventually appear small eddies of violin and cello. In all cases, the motifs grow firmer and louder – Kremer's violin rising warily above the quiet percussion of “Barcarola”– though expression remains pleasingly furtive throughout.

Download: Between Two Waves; Duo (after Osip Mandelstam); Barcarola