Das Orchester, No 9, 2007 Ekaterina Docheva

Kultura Weekly, No. 15 (2454), April 17, 2007 г. Ekaterina Docheva

Georgi Minchev in Reflection and Recollection

“There was something very expresive in the fact when the thought of resurrection of spirit was closer to us than whenever it had beenat Bulgaria Concert Hall we witnesse the birth of a new musical work –Monody and Concerto Grososo for viola, strings, percussion and harpsichord. A work by Georgi Minchev, an impressive composer, not simply of the purely Bulgarian musical sphere, though his opuses have not had their first performances in this country…”

“…The work has been written for the well-known viola-player Dimitar Penkov, who has played in Hanover for many years. The Monody is a fantastic solo revelation for the viola with the brave length of eight minutes. It gives the soloist the perfect chance to expand his capacities in terms of sound, timbre, breath and phases in the form of improvisational flexibility, as well as to demonstrate the level of his instrumental technique. That, as a matter of fact, was best and most reliably articulated in the work’s incredibly difficult general texture. At the beginning of the Concerto Grosso the viola “enters” a sound medium dominated mainly by the harpsichord. And this is the place to specify that G. Minchev has written a dedication on the score: “For the old masters, with love and a smile.” As it is the harpsichord that poses the question about the old masters. The harpsichord is naturally a symbol of an epoch, yet it made a sign of Minchev’s most successful piece in the world – the Piano Concerto, in which one of the most brilliant ideas was that of the harpsichord being for some time in a solo opposition with the piano solo, dedicated to the conductor at that. Thus the signs mark and “name” Minchev’s composition; these are signs that do not quote his own icon –composers – Bach and Messiaen, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky, or Lutoslawsky. Probably there is a response to Bartok (in the string, percussion or harpsichord parts). Or to himself. And he has left his own signs: in the bell sounds, in the swing speed which he likes so much. The music captures the listener as every time when one listens to a piece of his. This is because Georgi Minchev possesses the art of grasping the audience’s attention, without trying to necessarily keep to its taste. Compared to his other works, this one is much more like a personal confession, something that the composer rarely dares to do. Here, with no feeling of embarrassment, being in the sphere of emotions, we witness the summing up. It also brings an element of sadness, resignation and a kind of melancholy. The work’s lyrical and dramatic slowness in some episodes bring us close to contemplation, to the revelation of deep sensitivity, to tenderness. The intimate essence of music has a power of its own…”