Title: Canti d’inizio e fine
Instrumentation: for solo cello: performer who can feel, play, sing, scream, moan, swear, breathe, squeal, whisper, bleat, hiss, dream…
First performer: Maya Fridman
Premiere: 9th September 2018, MerkAz, Utrecht, NL
Commissioner: Maya Fridman with financial support from the Fonds Podiumkunsten.
Buy Score: Donemus
Rend your clothes, you all, sprinkle your head with ashes, run through the streets and dance in madness.
Rabbi Jakub Szulman in a letter, January 1942
This concert program is the result of a close creative collaboration between two talented contemporary musicians — composer Maxim Shalygin and cellist Maya Fridman.
For over ten years, Shalygin has been occupied with a project for a lifetime: music for solo instruments. He is convinced that only a single instrument can express the most concealed, intimate and deep things. One musician on the stage, who plays more for himself than for an audience, is similar to someone praying. In each of his solo works Shalygin reaches an exalted state, giving the instrument a special voice.
For this kind of music the composer always looks forward to meet the musician with a capital M, who possesses unique technical skills and stoic work ethics, masters a broad emotional palette, and is ready to be challenged. Fridman’s talent encompasses all of this, and more. She has a huge potential to implement original ideas. She belongs to that number of musicians who were born to pave the way for new music.
The Canti consist of six songs, each representing an imaginary folder in the Holocaust victims directory, called after a segment of the German alphabet, and assigned to one out of six Angels of Death: Gabriel, Mashhit, Kapziel, Azrael, Abaddon, and Michael. The epilogue, Todesfuge, inspired by the eponymous poem by Paul Celan, combines mysteriously compelling imagery with rhythmic variations and structural patterns that are both elusive and pronounced, thus masterfully depicting horror and death in a concentration camp.
For each song Shalygin developed a special technique. He uses the uncommon BACH.Bow in some parts and Maya's beautiful voice in the epilogue. In her performance of Canti d’inizio e fine, Fridman focuses her attention on the experience of time and sounds as they slowly undergo sublime transformations.