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David Dalle
Thursday November 28th, 2013 with David Dalle
Schnittke's 8th symphony; Sidi Touré; music from Mali, Niger, Corsica and more

Today we start with some music from Mali and Niger, including the 3rd release from Sidi Touré, a Songhai musician from Gao in northern Mali. This is his first release since Gao went through the trauma of changing hands between Mali and Tuareg rebels, before being recaptured by Mali helped by France in January of this year. On this recent release, Sidi Touré sings poignantly of peace and conflict in his home. We also continue the Alfred Schnittke symphony cycle with his penultimate symphony, no.8 from 1994. As with the previous 2 symphonies from the same period, the 8th is largely coloured by his declining health after several strokes. A cruel irony because his music was becoming fairly popular in Europe and North America with a large number of concerts, recordings, and commissions. The 8th was dedicated to Russian conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky who premiered his 1st symphony in 1974, and premiered the 8th 20 years later in Stockholm. We hear the same forces in a recording made after the premiere in Stockholm. The 8th symphony is in 5 movements, opening with a strange 8 bar theme featuring large intervals, this theme is repeated 22 times shifting between different instruments and instrument groups in the orchestra, with the harmonies of the theme becoming increasingly muddled and mysterious, until finally the theme is heard almost isolated on the piccolo, only accompanied by some soft blows on the tam-tam. The second movement is short, quick with hints of menace and violence before ending abruptely. This leads into the longest movement, a slow lento which recalls Liszt and Bruckner. A great, though restrained and often sparsely instrumented lamentation. The 4th movement is another short, violent outburst, ending with the same same tam-tam strikes as the first movement, however it leads into a short coda. And though the 'heart' of this work is always said to be the great lento, I believe it is the brief coda which is most significant. Unlike the 6th and 7th symphonies which end in bleak despair (6th) or bitter sardonicism (7th), the coda to the 8th has the orchestra ascending, reaching for peaceful, spiritual, transcendence. A magical ending to a truly magnificent work. Schnittke's 8th symphony is one of his greatest works.
Annour el Sahel
Sidi Toure - Alafia - Thrill Jockey
Assalam Felawan
Bombino - Agadez - Cumbancha
Yaya Diallo - Nangape - Onzou Canadian
No Time
Afrodizz - Kif Kif - Ro Right Music Canadian
Con Tu Mano
Diego Marulanda & Pacande - Por El Sol - Indie Canadian
Ya Basta
Souljazz Orchestra - Solidarity - Strut Records Canadian
Souljazz Orchestra - Solidarity - Strut Records Canadian
Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba - Jama Ko - Out Here
Ay Hora
Sidi Toure - Alafia - Thrill Jockey
Symphony No. 8
Alfred Schnittke/Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Gennady Rozhdestvensky - Symphony no. 8 - Chandos
Dies irae
A Filetta, Paolo Fresu, Daniele di Bonaventura - Mistico Mediterraneo - ECM
Soul Ascending
Constantine Caravassilis/Christina Petrowska Quilico - Visions - Centredisques Canadian
A Filetta, Paolo Fresu, Daniele di Bonaventura - Mistico Mediterraneo - ECM
Interactive CKCU
Wohoo! More Schnittke. ;^)

2:56 PM, November 28th, 2013
David Dalle (host)
Glad you are listening, this is one of my favourite Schnittke pieces.

3:03 PM, November 28th, 2013
Well ... that was spooky! Will have to give that a full listen soon. Distracted listening only today unfortunately -- stupid day job stuff. Look forward to #9! Thank you OnDemand!

3:51 PM, November 28th, 2013
David Dalle (host)
Yes, definitely worth dedicating an attentive 2nd listen to!

3:53 PM, November 28th, 2013
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