VAJA AZARASHVILI (b.1936): Complete Works for Cello and Piano - Cello Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2, 5 Preludes, Days Go By, Sentimental Tango, Nocturne, Nostalgie, Prelude.
Catalogue Number: 01U050
Description: Azarashvili has achieved a prominent place in Georgian culture through his highly successful output of the lyrical, memorably melodic sentimental 'light music' that spans popular and classical music and has long been hugely popular in the states of the 'Russian Federation'. The examples of this genre here are of high quality, of their type, in arrangements by the composer and the cellist. The substantial sonatas are fine specimens of standard Soviet fare, with a strongly individual flavor imparted by the melodic contours and rhythms of Georgian folk music. When he writes an ironic scherzo, as in the First Sonata, or a sardonic waltz, as twice in the Preludes, the influence of Shostakovich is clear; elsewhere his voice is much more personal, and the Second Sonata is a significant work of considerable impact by any standards, and its mourning slow movement with its tolling funereal bell is a striking climax to a fine work. The 2006 Preludes, like the sonatas, are firmly in the composer's 'serious' style, and are especially original in their idiom and punchily demonstrative in their projection of diverse moods, while remaining (like everything else here) thoroughly tonal and approachable. Alexander Suleiman (cello), Irma Issakadze (piano).