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Bartok, Brahms, Kugel, Paganini, Bloch

Dana Zemtsov, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra

Béla Bartók, Michael Kugel, Johannes Brahms, Ernest Bloch, Niccolò Paganini

SKU: 41018

Year of release: 2018

Concerto for Viola and Orchestra 24:06
1. I. Moderato Béla Bartók 14:52
2. II. Adagio Religioso - Allegretto Béla Bartók 04:27
3. III. Allegro Vivace Béla Bartók 04:46
4. Preghiera for Viola and String Orchestra Michael Kugel 08:14
5. Hungarian Dance No. 5 Johannes Brahms 03:55
6. Baal Shem - 3 Pictures of Hassidic Life Ernest Bloch 07:01
7. Variations on - O mamma, mamma cara Niccolò Paganini 17:29
Total time: 60:46

About this album

One of the biggest dilemmas of our generation is where are we from, who are we, what is our identity? Globalization has made the whole world closer, bringing our cultures more and more together. I myself am a product of this mix, being born in Mexico to Russian parents with a Jewish background, having studied at a French school in Norway and grown up in Holland. Consequently I have often thought about these questions: which culture is closest to me? What am I? I could feel at home and relate to all these cultures and yet I am not really part of any of them.

The music on this album explores the opposite perspective; each piece is very strong influenced by the composer’s culture. One can immediately smell the Hungarian landscape in Bartok’s Viola Concerto, Italian roots in the Carnevale di Venezia, the Jewish soul in Bloch’s Nigun and Russian Orthodox chants in Kugel’s Preghiera. However, there is a deeper meaning to the title of this album, as the programme also touches the spiritual and carnal nature of the human being. During the process of compiling this programme I suddenly realized the strong religious connection between the second movement of the Bartok concerto and the two prayers that follow. This is followed by the contrasting ‘danse macabre’ in the third movement, which for me is very much associated with the carnal ritual of a carnival, when one is allowed to release one’s most primitive instincts. I believe each of these pieces explores the deepest roots of humankind, that core that will be there, no matter where we go or what we do.

I am eternally grateful, primarily to Jared Sacks, for the opportunity of going through this unforgettable experience. I could not be happier to have done so with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and one of the best musicians I could have wished to collaborate with, the conductor Daniel Raiskin.

– Dana Zemtsov

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Pizzicato LU

(...) Dana Zemtsov’s playing optimally combines structural thinking and emotional expression. (...)

NRC 4 stars

(...) machtige toon en meeslepende vertelkracht (...)

Opus Klassiek

Aart Jan van der Wal Haar Bartók grijpt je naar de keel, maar zij mag zich tevens heel gelukkig prijzen met zoveel eminente musici om haar heen: het nationaal symfonieorkest van Estland onder Daniel Raiskin rijgt samen met haar het ene juweel aan het andere. En Jared Sacks heeft het in Tallinn magnifiek vastgelegd (...)

Technical Specifications

SpeakersAudio Lab, Holland
Recording Type Bit RateDSD256
Recording SoftwareMerging Pyramix
Recording LocationEstonia Concert Hall, Tallinn - December 2017
Recording EngineerJared Sacks
ProducerJared Sacks
Mixing BoardRens Heijnis, custom design
MicrophonesBruel & Kjaer 4006, Schoeps
Mastering RoomGrimm LS1 Speakers | Van den Hul Cables
Mastering EngineerJared Sacks
Editing SoftwareMerging Pyramix
Digital ConvertersDSD Super Audio/Horus-256FS
Cablesvan den Hul