Sharon Bezaly, GUBAIDULINA: ‘…The Deceitful Face of Hope and Despair’ / Sieben Worte

Todd Burns

By Todd Burns

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
An epic battle of good and evil.

eMusic Classical columnist Justin Davidson summed it up perfectly when he called composer Sofia Gubaidulina's work full of "bleak apocalyptic beauty." There seems to be a constant battle of good vs. evil in Gubaidulina's flute concerto "…The Deceitful Face of Hope and Despair," with flautist Sharon Bezaly trying her best to overcome the alternately deafening and silent orchestra. Bezaly is called on to use all manner of tones throughout — besides the standard flute, she uses both alto and bass flute in the fight — and, in the process, proves her status as one of the world's most talented flautists. Also on this disc is 7 Words, which is equally as concerned with evoking pathos. This time, though, it's generated via Gubaidulina's favorite instrument, the bayan — a sort of Russian accordion. Like "…The Deceitful…," the effect is intensely emotional, producing music that sounds like what one BBC critic called "Pärt meets Penderecki."