New Release: Duo Bednarz-Hiratsuka’s “Giya Kancheli: Sunny Night”

Giya Kancheli (b. 1935) is one of the most distinctive twentieth century composers to emerge from the former Soviet Union. Kancheli, who was born in Georgia and emigrated to Belgium following Soviet dissolution in 1991, has written seven symphonies as well as other large-scale orchestral works such as Mourned by the Wind, described as a “liturgy” for viola and orchestra. His catalogue also includes operas, chamber works, and numerous film scores.

Many of Kancheli’s pieces develop gradually in prolonged, atmospheric, tonal fragments— something akin to the mystical “Holy minimalism” of Arvo Pärt and Henryk Górecki. For example, listen to the hushed tension of Kancheli’s Symphony No. 4 “In memoria di Michelangelo” (1974).

Giya Kancheli: Sunny Night, a newly-released album featuring Canadian violinist Frédéric Bednarz and pianist Natsuki Hiratsuka explores miniatures which grew out of Kancheli’s film scores. For two of the tracks (Earth, This is Your Son and Instead of a Tango), the duo is joined by bandoneon player, Jonathan Goldman.

Frédéric and I were students of violinist Oleh Krysa at the Eastman School of Music during the same period of time. Here are two excerpts from this lushly cinematic new recording:

Miniature for Violin & Piano No.16 (King Lear):

Instead of a Tango:


About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

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