Sulkhan Nasidze

One of Georgia's leading composers. A teacher and a prominent figure in public life he holds the chair of composition at the Tbilisi State Conservatory; he is also chairman of the Georgian Composers' Union, a People's Artist of Georgia and holder of the Shota Rustaveli Prize. His major works include eight symphonies, the ballets Orpheus and Eurydice and King Lear, concertos and a large number of chamber works, including five string quartets.

Dedicated to the memory of Sulkhan Tsintsadze and subtitled "Con Sordino" - the outer sections are performed with muted strings — Nasidze's Fifth Quartet of 1992, though written in one uninterrupted movement, nevertheless is of perceptibly tripartite structure. The first and third episodes are linked by a recitative-like theme played on the viola, whilst the overall narrative mood of meditation is underscored by a special harmonic thinking that creates the effect of "weightlessness", of "unsupportedness". The middle episode, by dint of the richness of its dynamics, serves as a contrast to the two outer sections, whilst the third and final episode is again of an elegiac mood, though, unlike the opening episode, immanent with hidden anxiety.

Tsintsadze's quartet miniatures, composed at different points in his life, are exemplary transcriptions of Georgian folk tunes, where the composer skillfully carries the polyphonic structure of folksongs over into the quartet mode, whether it be in the lyrical Indi Mindi, Suliko, Sisatura or the humorous Tsoli gamididgulda (A Nagging Wife), or where, as with Sachidao (the tune that accompanies sports competitions) or Mtskemsuri (Shepherd's Dance), he creates masterfully written sketches of folk scenes, imitating the harmonic colours of folk instruments.

Year / Artwork Title Importance Medium
1969 Symphony No 3 4.00 stars CD
New Music I Comments:
Caucasian Chamber Orchestra cond. Uwe Berkemer