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Dobrinka Tabakova String Paths

Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra/Maxim Rysanov/viola/conductor

Janine Jansen, Roman Mints, Julia-Maria Kretz: violin Amihai Grosz: viola Torleif Thedéen, Kristina Blaumane & Boris Andrianov: cello Raimondas Sviackevičius: accordion Vaiva Eidukaitytė-Storastienė: harpsichord Donatas Bagurskas, Stacey Watton: double bass

Launch party April 22 2013

ECM New Series 2239 [Recorded 2011 in Vilnius & Berlin]

Composer Dobrinka Tabakova threw a wonderful launch party for her new CD at The Warehouse, tucked away near Waterloo Station.

Dobrinka, born in Bulgaria but raised largely in London, spoke movingly about her childhood and musical background before a large audience, who were then treated to compositions from the disc performed by long-time collaborators, talented musicians she’s worked with since her student days at the Guildhall. These included violist Max Rysanov and cellist Kristina Blaumane; Roman Mints unfortunately couldn’t make the gig – he was detained at passport control on his way back from Russia.

The occasion was the launch of String Paths, from which excerpts were played by a group of players featured in the CD itself, followed by drinks.

From the tender but dramatic ‘Insight’ to ‘The Suite in Old Style’, which seems to call on and fuse elements from a huge range of musical times and traditions, the power and complexity of her music shines through, served by wonderful musicianship. For me there were traces of Arvo Part, Elgar and even Michael Nyman at his best.

But Tabakova’s music is unique, fusing east and west in a highly original way. The haunting theme that is revisited time and again in the 16-minute-long conclusion to the album, ‘Such Different Paths’, is stunning, giving me to believe that Tabakova is one of the best young composers working today.

Fern Bryant

Editor's note: The illustration at the top and the double page central spread [L] express my personal disappointment with ECM's long established and characterisically austere signature art-work. PGW