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Giya Kancheli, born 10 August 1935, in Tbilisi, is a resident in Belgium. His music is often , leading some to compare him (not always helpfully) to composers such as Arvo Pärt and John Tavener. There are several instances of folk and religious inspiration in his music, notably in the opening of the Third Symphony and his more recent work Magnum Ignotum, but the effect of Georgian folk elements on his style should not be overemphasized.

Since 1991, Kancheli has lived in Western Europe: first in Berlin, and since 1995 in Antwerp, where he is composer-in-residence for the Royal Flemish Philharmonic.

n his symphonies, Kancheli’s musical language typically consists of slow, haunting scraps of minor-mode melody against long, subdued, anguished string discords. These passages are occasionally punctuated with “battle scenes” involving martial brass and percussion. His music post-1990 has become more refined and generally more subdued and nostalgic in character. Some commentators talk about his music in cinematic terms; one can find equivalents of the dissolve (in his ubiquitous blurred tonal transitions), zoom (such as the long crescendo a third of the way into the Sixth Symphony), abrupt cuts (jumping from very quiet to very loud, as in the opening of the Fifth Symphony), and so on. Rodion Shchedrin speaks of Kancheli as “an ascetic with the temperament of a maximalist; a restrained Vesuvius”.

Kancheli has written seven symphonies, and what he terms a liturgy for viola and orchestra, called Mourned by the Wind. His Fourth Symphony received its American premiere, with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Yuri Temirkanov, in January 1978, not long before the cultural freeze in the United States against Soviet culture.

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  • Nochek

    თქვენი წყალობით

    28 Aug 2009 Reply

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