counterfnord

Gigs, dance, art

May 9th, 2010: Kronos Quartet – Alim Qasimov Ensemble

@théatre de la ville

Time for my yearly Kronos concert, this time with a focus on Azerbaijan. The first part was Kronos playing two works by Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, and it was my favorite. The first one, starting and ending with only the cellist on stage, was great, and the other one was real good too. It sounded like Western contemporary classical music, but with something else bringing some refreshing new blood. Kronos is definitely good at finding those gems. The second piece is part of a cycle, now I’d like to hear the rest.

Then Kronos left the stage to Alim Qasimov and his ensemble. I had read praise for this singer, but never heard him. He’s as good as advertised, and that’s saying something. I’m usually not that into his kind of voice — Fargana Qasimova’s voice sounded better to my ears — but his presence and engagement combined with his mastery made it a special experience. The music was very interesting too, it had a directly accessible quality that led to real depth, a generous mix.

After an intermission, all the musicians shared the stage. If anything, the music was more welcoming than in the second part. But I was a little let down, because I didn’t feel Kronos were bringing as much as I expected, and when they took center stage I missed the voices. They did bring additional textures to the music, but didn’t take it in a different direction. Then again, maybe that’s just as well, and I should just be grateful to them for bringing Qasimov here and not standing in the way.

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May 14, 2010 - Posted by | Music | , ,

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