Chants d'Est, Sinfonia Varsovia, S. Wieder-Atherton
(released on April 28, 2009)
Naïve V 5178 | 61'37"
Wieder-Atherton has been performing music from her new CD of Slavic music, Chants d'Est, in Europe, but with an ensemble other than the Sinfonia Varsova heard on the disc. In a One on One interview for Playbill Arts, Wieder-Atherton said that she conceived the program as "a journey of 24 hours," beginning with an arrangement of the Nunc dimittis from Rachmaninov's Vespers (so, a journey that begins in the darkness of late evening, I guess). The regions and peoples visited in this nocturnal peregrination include Hungary (Dohnányi's Ruralia Hungarica), Russia and Ukraine (Tcherepnin's Tatar Dance and Prokofiev's devastating The Field of the Dead from Alexander Nevsky), and Czechoslovakia (Franck Krawczyk's adaptations of Janáček's Moravian Folksongs and Martinů's Variations on a Slovak Folksong). The predominating mood is somber, imbued with a depressive gloom, culminating in the contemplation of total separation from life, in a moving, tender adaptation of Mahler's song Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen. It is a gorgeous CD for quiet listening, with smooth, emotionally expansive playing from the Sinfonia Varsovia, conducted in some tracks by Christophe Mangou.
Sonia Wieder-Atherton and the Niguna Ensemble will perform selections from this disc on their program at Le Poisson Rouge in New York this Monday (November 23, 7:30 pm).