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Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky: Night Music: Voice in the Leaves
for Cello and Orchestra
Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on April 24, 1963. Night Music: Voice in the Leaves was composed for Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble in 2000. It runs approximately 16 minutes in performance and is scored for solo cello, flute, clarinet, percussion, harp, piano, violin, viola, double bass, and tape.
Uzbeck composer Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky has composed scores for 50 films and more than 25 stage productions in addition to his many concert works. He studied composition with his father Feliks at the Tashkent Conservatory and through the support of Edison Denisov (whom he met in Russia) his music began to receive performances abroad. In 1991 his Lacrymosa for soprano and string quartet was given special mention at the 4th International Competition for the Composition of Sacred Music in Fribourg, Switzerland. Other honours include the ALEA III International Prize in Boston (1992, for Presentiment), the Prix Spécial de Nantes at the Festival International du Film de Cannes (1992, for the film score Kammie), and the Prize of the Cinematographers' Union of Uzbekistan (1995, for the animated serial film score The History of Islām, shared with Felix Yanov-Yanovsky).
Of particular importance has been his association with the Kronos Quartet who, in addition to performing Lacrymosa, have given the first performances of four other works. Yanov-Yanovsky founded the Ilkhom-XX festival of contemporary music in Tashkent in 1996 and served as its Artistic Director from 1996–2006. He later served as Composer-in-Residence at the Siemens Foundation/Hearing Instruments Factory in New Jersey in 2002 and at Harvard University from 2008–09.
Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky composed Night Music: Voice in the Leaves for the Silk Road Ensemble in 2000. The title refers to Bartok’s celebrated “night music,” the mysterious nature sounds he first evoked in his Out of Doors suite for piano and returned to often. Yanov-Yanovsky also drew inspiration from the nocturnal sounds of Elliott Carter’s Night Fantasies for piano. The piece’s carefully nuanced parts for solo cello, eight instrumentalists, and recording employ Western instruments to evoke the timbres and textures of Eastern instruments. Thus the harp and piano often imitate Yanov-Yanovsky’s own instrument, the chang. Toward the end, the solo cello blends ethereally with recorded voices singing an Uzbek lullaby. Composer Ivan Moody has observed that “timbre is, in many ways, the connecting thread in this work, an extraordinary, delicate nocturne that seems to build up an electric atmosphere from almost no material.”
Programme Note by courtesy of the Silk Road Project
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