Aisha Orazbayeva: Outside (Nonclassical)

– Originally published on I Care if You Listen http://www.icareifyoulisten.com/2011/11/aisha-orazbayeva-debut-album-nonclassical/

Violinist Aisha Orazbayeva’s debut album ‘Outside’ released 31st October 2011 on the UK-based Nonclassical label is worth exploring. The 25-year old Kazakh born Aisha opens the recording with a fascinating recording of Sciarrino’s Six Capricci (?); not only are these played with a keen virtuosity and superb understanding but the composite recording produced through the sensitive and skilful juxtaposition of takes recorded in a variety of outside locations – including ‘bus stops, warehouses and car parks’ – adds a dimension that somehow makes these works utterly relevant and compelling. The Ravel sonata movement that followed the Capricci was an adventurous yet apt choice – particularly after the acoustic intrigue heard in the opening recordings on the disc. The movement was lyrically played by Aisha and her accompanist Matthew Schellhorn with a colourful tone and engaging sense of the structure.

The 5 Bagatelles that form the centre of this disc – a version of the work for violin and electronics created by the composer Zinovieff and Aisha – are superb. This is a masterful recording and an authoritative and commanding performance; you are nothing but willed to listen. Particularly striking is ‘Extreme Glissando’ and the final Bagatelle ‘Stre’. The sounds are engaging and judged beautifully. I can imagine hearing a live performance of this work would be stunning. The final two items on the recording – Aisha singing the song ‘Pchela I Babachka’ and an arrangement of Lachenmann’s ‘Toccatina’ – do much to sum up her innovative sense of adventure in putting this disc together. The whole programme flowed organically and made utter sense – I wanted to immediately play the disc again once I reached the close of the ‘Toccatina’.

This recording is yet another imaginative and compelling disc from Nonclassical – it is fantastic that such a label exists to promote music and performers that are truly deserving of recognition. Aisha Orazbayeva’s album was released in the US on the 15th November.

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