Saturday, January 12, 2008

Kim Kashkashian and Robert Levin - Asturiana: Songs from Spain and Argentina

I mentioned this record in a post from a few weeks ago about music-related christmas presents I received...I have finally spent enough time with the music to offer up a track.

I don't have a ton of experience with music like this. It is basically "classical" but also folk-tinged, in a European folk manner. Very melodic, with gorgeous interplay between nothing more than viola and piano.

I lack a vocabulary here...let me quote from All Music Guide:
"These soulful Spanish and Argentinean songs arranged by violist Kim Kashkashian and pianist Robert Levin are well suited to their expressive and expansive playing. Most of the songs...are written in a late romantic to early modern idiom, and many incorporate a strong folk element. The selections include rowdy, rhythmically charged dance-like songs, tender lullabies, and many flavors of love songs, from the exultant to the despairing...The choices of repertoire are excellent; each one of these songs is a jewel, and the ordering of the selections artful, including the surprisingly effective repetition of two songs at different points in the program. The transcriptions are inventive and imaginative, with the vocal lines idiomatically adapted for the viola's expressive capabilities. Kashkashian is a remarkable violist who brings vibrancy to everything she plays, and these relatively straightforward songs are no exception. Her warm, throaty tone and the nuanced, colorful inflections of her playing accentuate the vocal origins of the pieces. With his springy and languid rhythmic energy, Robert Levin is an equal partner in making the performances sparkle with passion..."
That's a glowing review regardless of genre!

Download Oye Mi Llanto by Kim Kashkashian and Robert Levin - Asturiana: Songs from Spain and Argentina