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Elusive Affinity

Anna Gourari Elusive Affinity CD In this imaginatively shaped and sensitively played album her third for ECM - Russian pianist Anna Gourari explores musical connections and influences extending across the arts. Three suites of contemporary music are heard here. Alfred Schnittke's Five Aphorisms (1990) draw impulses from the poetry of his friend Joseph Brodsky. Rodion Shchedrin's Diary - Seven Pieces (2002) dedicated to Gourari and inspired by her playing, reflects the life of a pianist and composer. Wolfgang Rihm's sequence of tombeaux, Zwiesprache (1999) pays tribute to musicologists Alfred Schlee and Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht, conductor Paul Sacher, and art sociologist Hermann Wiesler. Threaded between the cycles are two Giya Kancheli miniatures drawn from theatre and movie music, as well as Arvo Pärt's early tintinnabuli-style Variations for the Healing of Arinuschka(1977). Gourari's investigation of artistic affinities is framed with Bach's transcriptions of Venetian composers Antonio Vivaldi and Alessandro Marcello: "Anna Gourari makes these Bach slow movements, too, ours," Paul Griffiths writes in the liner notes. "And the newer music is cherished and invigorated."

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