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Insomnia


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Audio CD, February 8, 2000
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Biography

Over the course of more than 30 years of a distinguished career, violinist Gidon Kremer, born in Riga in 1947, has established a worldwide reputation as one of the most original and compelling artists of his generation, praised for his high degree of individualism, his rejection of the well-trodden paths of interpretation, and his search for new possibilities. Gidon Kremer has made more than ... Read more in Amazon's Gidon Kremer Store

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Product Details

  • Performer: Gidon Kremer, Naoko Yoshino
  • Composer: Michio Miyagi, Kaija Saariaho, Toru Takemitsu, Yuji Takahashi, Erik Satie, et al.
  • Audio CD (February 8, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B000026CMT
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,989 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Haru No Umi
2. Nocturne
3. Stanza 2
4. Insomnia
5. Les Fils De Etoiles: Prelude Du Premier Acte 'La Vocation'
6. Cinque Piccoli Duetti: Preludio
7. Cinque Piccoli Duetti: Pastorale
8. Cinque Piccoli Duetti: Canzonetta
9. Cinque Piccoli Duetti: Sogno
10. Cinque Piccoli Duetti: Rondo
11. 'Daphne' Etude
12. Six Melodies: No. 1 (Rubato)
13. Six Melodies: No.2 (Legastissimo)
14. Six Melodies: No.3
15. Six Melodies: No.4
16. Six Melodies: No.5
17. Six Melodies: No.6
18. Spiegel Im Spiegel
19. Il Padrino
20. Suite In The Old Style: Pantomime

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

This may be one of the least abrasive albums of contemporary music you'll ever hear. On this culture-melding disc, violinist Gidon Kremer and harpist Naoko Yoshino explore the dizzying roots and offshoots of modern compositions from the Far East and Europe. Every work on Insomnia--whether written by John Cage, Arvo Pärt, or Richard Strauss--seems to share influences and similarities with the next. While Japanese composer Michio Miyagi (1894-1956) was looking to France for influences on Haru no umi, Erik Satie (1866-1925) was looking to the East on the preludes to Le Fils des Étoiles. The comparisons are fascinating, and Kremer and Yoshino make this difficult music sound easy and hypnotic. Especially effective: Pärt's gorgeous Spiegel im Spiegel and Schnittke's almost New Age-sounding "Pantomime" (from Suite in the Old Style). Great stuff for modern lovers. --Jason Verlinde

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD contains 20 tracks of nocturnal music.
By "nocturnal," I mean there's a quiet and exposed quality to this music that's like being alone in the dark at night.

"Simplicity is the Key" is the title of Paul Griffiths' essay that accompanies this CD, and there is indeed a dark simplicity to this CD. Though this is clearly 20th century classical music, much of the music sounds Asian influenced. And most of it is riveting.

Unfortunately, the CD would have greatly benefited from the elimination of some of the tracks.
For instance, track 19 is the theme from The Godfather, played on solo harp. How tacky is that!
Arvo Part's magical Spiegel im Spiegel is, in this recording, rather listless and unsuccessful, and it also somehow disrupts the flow of the CD.
Schnittke's suite tramples upon the nocturnal mood of the CD.

But if you program your CD player properly, you'll have an interesting and enjoyable experience as, mostly, the music is a first-rate exploration of some peaceful and too-infrequently recorded 20th century gems.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By chris jenkins on June 15, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The title is misleading if not down right dubious. This is one hot album. Gidon Kremer is a performer of rare ability and he is at his best with the broad range of composers featured here. He is accompanied by an excellent harpist Naoko Yoshino who adds her own special charm to these pieces. They work well together and their skills are clearly evident. This album is not for everyone; it challenges the listener and forces you to pay attention but it is worth it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Campbell Roark on February 24, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I could not agree more with the next reviewer: this is one of the most cohesive collections I've heard; each track segues effortlessly into the next. While the dissonance and atonality of much modern music grates on me; this CD is devoid of such things. The compositions are wonderfully luminous and the performer(s) approach rivets the listener. Excellent night-time composition music, seduction music- what have you. I strongly encourage you to take a chance on this!
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful By chris jenkins on June 14, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Gidon Kremer is at his most provocative best! The wide range of composers played here require all of his skill and he comes through. This album is not for everybody but those who want something new won't be disappointed. Naoko Yoshino's contributions on the harp are a delight in themselves and shouldn't be missed. From a musical point of view this is not for quiet nights! It gets you up and keep you up This album may challenge some people but that's one of its charms. Need a challenge go for it; its truly an adventure.
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