Guardian obit of Giya Kancheli: ‘leading Georgian composer whose music combines stillness, beauty with expressive outbursts’

  •  Rodion Shchedrin assessed him as “an ascetic with the temperament of a maximalist – a restrained Vesuvius”. Photo: Ted Thai

Review by Salome Shikhashvili

Current news reporter

Agenda.ge, 8 Oct 2019, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Guardian has published an article by Guy Rickards about Georgia’s leading composer Giya Kancheli, who died aged 84 of complications from a heart condition several days ago.

The author says that Giya Kancheli was a “leading Georgian composer whose music combines stillness and beauty with expressive outbursts''.

The article reads that Giya Kancheli became Georgia’s leading composer and one of the most distinguished in the Soviet Union in the late 20th century. His fellow Soviet colleague Rodion Shchedrin assessed him as “an ascetic with the temperament of a maximalist – a restrained Vesuvius”.

The author adds that much of Kancheli’s music combines stillness and beauty with latent violence that occasionally erupts to devastating expressive effect.

The article reads that Kancheli was a relatively late starter. He had originally intended to study geology at university after leaving school, but inspired by hearing Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, he went on to study piano and at the age of 24, he became a conservatory student for four years from 1959.

The author recalls composer’s early years of Soviet period. 

Kancheli’s earliest acknowledged compositions a wind quintet and a concerto for orchestra drew criticism because of the composer’s keen interest in jazz, then regarded still as a dangerous and degenerate western art form by the Soviet cultural authorities. Nonetheless, Kancheli would later be honored as a People’s Artist of the USSR”, the article says. 

Read the full article here: www.theguardian.com

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