The idea to write Icelandic Ballad for Cello and Piano came to me upon listening to the 14th century Icelandic hymn “Almighty G-d of All Lands” (Book of Lilja, c. 1340). The simple beauty of this chant, its self-contained structure, plus the component, which I would like to call “macro-ethnos” or “universal folk” quality - compelled me to create the Ballad.
The title Farela stands for three musical pitches, F-D-A. It was conceived in 2015 as an encore piece for pianist Pi-Hsun Shih and myself. I had planned to compose a minimalistic, slightly whimsical bonbon to use for topping off our usually very intense programs. However, the project developed a will of its own resulting in a 15-minute-long virtuosic duet with equally dramatic piano and cello parts.
Our life is a journey. We are all caravan keepers. Will we have the strength and patience to bring our caravans safely to their destinations or will we loose our goods on the way?
I had wanted to write for two cellos as I was preparing for my 2007 concert in Moscow with my former Moscow Conservatory Cello Professor Igor Gavrysh.
Caravan since then has gained considerable popularity and is being performed by cellists worldwide.
Sufi Suite was composed during summer of 2005 and was first performed in 2006, at Roerich Museum in New York City.
Since its premiere, Sufi Suite has been played in Boston, Moscow, Mexico, and Australia. In 2007, it was included in Sufi Soul CD, which was described by Heather Kurzbauer in The Strad Magazine as “deep, exploratory and richly rewarding” and was featured on Amsterdam’s Radio 4.
Sufi Suite was inspired by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī poetry.
This five-movement cycle is dedicated to my friend and student Carol Haynes.
The idea came from Carol herself who asked me to write her a solo cello work. Initially, my idea was to create music in Russian style, but, as the work progressed, it became evident that the dedicatee’s British origin would influence the content.
The initial letters of the movement titles make up the dedicatee’s name.
September 11 for solo cello came to me soon after the horrible events in September of 2001.
The work is in a form of a chaconne.
The world premiere took place during my solo recital in October of 2001, at The National Hebrew Congregation, in Washington, D.C. and it was featured on my 2002 Concert in Moscow CD.
Janos Starker became a hero of mine immediately after I heard his Kodaly Sonata Op.8.
When I learned of Starker’s passing, the first phrase of the present piece immediately popped up in my mind. The rest of the work came to me very easily. I might say the piece literally composed itself.
In 2012, The First International Sviatoslav Knushevitsky Cello Competition commissioned a cello solo composition to be used as an obligatory solo during competition’s second round.
Homage to Sviatoslav Knushevitsky features some technically challenging material while employing melodies reminiscent of the Russian folk tunes.
Cello Nonet “TEACHER” is dedicated to Zoia Kamysheva and it is an attempt to express my perception of her as a brilliant teacher and a surrogate mother.
The work is written in a free form, featuring some polyphonic writing and syncopated rhythms. Russian folk song “The Red Robe” is appearing at the golden section of the composition. In Russian folk tradition, the bride wore red robe during her wedding ceremony. Zoia Kamysheva made me learn this song shortly after I began my studies with her. Its melody has been etched in my memory ever since.
I consider Song on Mt. San Angelo to be my first “official” composition. It was written in the summer of 1995, shortly after my graduation from Yale School of Music. I had felt enormous freedom, joy, inspiration, and gratitude while a four-months fellow at the The Virginia Center For The Creative Arts. This piece was created as a part of the interdisciplinary project done in collaboration with my husband artist Alexander Anufriev. Six Gigantic Angels painted on Canvas Banners (10 x 15 feet each) represented six colors of the spectrum.
Dedicated to my Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory Cello Professor Igor Gavrysh, this work is a contemplation on the idea of the divine origin of the human soul.
ADONAI received its world premiere performance in 2006 in the Moscow Conservatory Hall and performed by members of The Russian Chamber Orchestra conducted by Igor Lerman with the composer as cello soloist.
Cynthia for flute and cello was inspired and written for my friend Ms. Cynthia Tremblay, an accomplished flute player and improviser.
Between 2002 and 2013, Cynthia and I had enjoyed many hours of improvising together, discussing life, art, food, and human nature.
The Bach Chaconne had been haunting me ever since I first heard it back in Moscow performed by my violinist friend.
When I arrange a piece of music for the cello, I never seek to compete with an instrument that this piece was originally created for. I believe the cello to be an instrument that makes everything sound deeper, more meaningful and somehow more “human” than other instruments. This may have to do with the cello’s range, which is close to the human voice as well as with the characteristics of the cello sound.
Tanya Anisimova has been researching, transcribing and performing Violin Sonatas and Partitas by J.S. Bach for many years. Being a composer herself, she believes that Bach’s music does not need to be confined to a baroque performance practice. J.S. Bach was a genuine modernist and a true original. He was a virtuoso organist. To Anisimova’s mind, J.S. Bach would only welcome the possibilities of the modern cello and he would be inspired by the modern practice in performing his music.
La Folia is an ancient Portuguese theme, which was danced to during Carnival processions since as early as 1400s.
As a child, I played the Moffat’s version of La Folia. The present copy is a mix of my favorite variations by Marin Marais, Maurice Gendron, and my own.
I have been haunted by this piece for many years. I find the austere yet deeply passionate nature of this music absolutely irresistible.
As it is with any good music, there are multiple ways to interpret Leyenda. There are a few optional bowings offered in this edition.