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   Alexi Matchavariani, Peoples Artist of the USSR, a winner of the USSR State Prize and Shota Rustaveli Prize of the Georgian Republic, winner of the Golden Medal of <Centro Cultural Braidense> in Milano for the music of Othello, Professor, was born in the town of Gori in Eastern Georgia. He studied violin and piano...
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Key Press Excerpts

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23.)    “Othello” is a event in theater, it is a composition of Russian artistic perfection, in which is imprinted a mighty Shakespearean spirit, with heavy waves of life.
            A. Medvedev. “Soviet Culture” №15, 1958.

24.)    Ballet “Othello” is an event in our artistic life. “Othello” of Alexi Matchavariani is a apparition of a huge artistic scale. A. Matchavariani’s music is percolating us in to the world of Shakespearean feelings, following the great musical traditional of S. Prokofiev.
            Asaf Messer. Folk Artist of the USSR. Moscow. “Zaria Vostoka”, 29-03-1958.

25.)    Music of A. Matchavariani is a jewel of Soviet music.
             Kara Karaev. Folk Artist of the USSR. Composer. 1-10-1963.

26.)    A. Matchavariani’s achievements in different styles of music bring him in the first row of Soviet artists. Already in his first symphony he presented himself as a master. “Othello” is are of the greatest achievements of soviet musical culture. Composer opened himself as a great talent, thinker, humanist.
             A. Khachaturian. Folk Artist of the USSR. Composer. “Izvestia”, 25-09-1963.

27.)    Music of “Othello” is a real event, meritorious to Shakespeare, it is a real triumph of composer, Matchavariani is not illustrating Shakespeare, he created a musical equivalent.
             M. Vershinin. “Soviet Culture”, 21-12-1973.

28.)    №2 Symphony of A. Matchavariani (1973) is a unique resolution of the problem of symphonic cycle. Matchavariani is generously rewarded with a restless mind and talent. This is a guaranty of ever youthfulness.
             D. Daragan. “Soviet Music” №3, 1974.

29.)    Dazzling – rich theatrical score of “The knight in the tiger skin” of A. Matchavariani is based on a dramatical action and meditation, incarnated in the law of epic tale’s.
             M. Aranovsky. “Soviet Music” №1, 1986.

30.)    №4 symphony of A. Matchavariani, ones again has reminded us about his great contribution… as it is characteristic in it’s perfection of dramatic forms, brilliance of instrumentation.
№3 symphony is characteristic with it’s robust scale, depth of ideas, composer thinks in enormous forms, juxtaposition universal with earthy, cosmic with human, which creates the indestructible chain of contrasts… colors, timbres… Powers of darkness, universal chaos…
             L. Izmailova. “Soviet Music” №3, 1986.

31.)    It was a great occurrence in Leningrad’s theatrical life, the premiere of ballet “The knight of tiger skin” on the stage of the “Kirov” (Mariisky) theater.
             E. Davidova. “Leningradskaia Pravda”, 26-03-1985.

32.)    All volume enormous is the musical-dramatical score of “The knight in the tiger skin” of A. Matchavariani. Like a “formula” with a metaphoric decision, it is a new musical conception and thinking.
             A. Tzulukidze. “Soviet Art” №12, 1985.

33.)    It is astonishing – the richness and generosity of reflection of a thinker-creator, freshness of thinking, richness of the score, which give so many possibilities to the choreographer. It’s a memorable performance.
             After the performance in Moscow of the “Knight in the tiger skin”
            of A. Matchavariani. J. Korev, chief editor of “Soviet Music”, 21-12-1988.

34.)    Symphony №3 again convinced, with it’s exceptional dramatic conception and wholeness, with a number of metamorphoses of one musical theme.
             Professor, Dr. L. Raaben. Moscow. “Tbilisi”, 04-04-1986.
             After the concert in Moscow.

35.)    All I could imagine, but not such a triumph. This is a performance full of poetry and brilliance. Long ago I did not outlive such depth of music thinking… it’s a perfection as perfect in the art of conductor V. Matchavariani.
             K. Sergeev. Folks Artist of USSR. “Komunist”, 27-03-1985.

36.)    Alexi Matchavariani is rewarded by God’s gift, this is his composing mission, which he has started already in thirty’s.
             A. Balanchivadze, composer, Folks Artist of USSR.
             “Literaturnaia Gruzia”, 25-11-1988.

37.)    The music of “The knight in the tiger skin” is a stunning philosophical depth.
             T. Khrennikov, composer, Folks Artist of USSR. “Samshoblo” №22, 1982.

38.)    Plural artistic world is opening for us the music of A.D. Matchavariani, which reflects a richness of spiritual qualities of humans.
             T. Lebedeva. “Music Life”, Moscow, №17, 1973.

39.)    The new Classic of Georgian music. Matchavariani’s music will never be dead, his name never will be dead.
             G. Toradze, “Republic of Georgia”, 23-09-2003.

40.)    Ich kenne jetzt schon mehrere Ihrer Kompositionen und ich verehre Sie als einen ganz GroBen unter den lebenden Komponisten. Ihr Name sollte auch in Mitteleuropa, ja in der ganzen Welt an Bedeutung gewinnen und was ich dazu beitragen kann, will ich von Herzen gerne tun.
             Karl Osterreicher, ord. Hochschulprofessor an der Hochschule fur Musik
            und darstellende Kunst in Wien. A-1160 Wien, 6.8.1984.

41.)                   “Luigi Nono: La Georgia e un grande polo di vita culturale”.
    Ho trovato Makiavariani, un compositore che ha alutato molto I giovani e che usa, sul piano armonico, la atonalita e la politonalita di aicuni canti popolari. Ho avuto colloqui con I giovani segretari dell Unione dei compositori.
             Carlo Benedetti. L’Unita / sabato 13 marzo 1976.

42.)                            Matchavariani the man with the answers.
   Georgian music lovers commemorated the 95th birthday of famous Georgian composer Alexi Matchavariani at a concert held at Tbilisi musical centre on November 14. The Georgia National Symphony Orchestra was conducted by Vakhtang Matchavariani, his son, a conductor widely experienced and respected in Europe.

The concert began with Matchavariani’s Third Symphonic Suit from the ballet Othello. This was first performed in 1957 at the Tbilisi State Opera, and swiftly achieved international recognition, being staged in many cities worldwide. On the basis of the music alone, you can see why. Matchavariani’s music turns this on its head, by combining this with a warm lyricism and deep devotion to music itself which puts this intellectualism into context. Yes, that part of life exists, but we all have a fundamental humanity, expressed through soaring violin lines, superb orchestration and organic harmony and counterpoint.

People did seem to be a bit taller after hearing this music, and seeing how Vakhtang Matchavariani instilled the sense of the importance of this work, that it had a universality beyond 'interpretation'.

The second half of the concert was the premiere of symphonic suite The Taming of the Shrew. This was a thoroughly enjoyable romp, Shakespeare’s Shrew reappearing in a motif when least expected, emotion suddenly leavened by playfulness, argument dissolving into the drama that had created it. This is was what Shakespeare would have composed himself, as Matchavariani clearly had the same connection with truth that Shakespeare had, and knew exactly what to do about it.

The audience was deeply appreciative of both music and performance, as any audience would have been. Matchavariani thoroughly deserves a more prominent place in the classical canon.
             By Rumwold Leigh. "Messenger". 17.11.2008.

43.)                                          HATS OFF GENTLEMEN.

   On 30 October internationally famous Georgian conductor Vakhtang Machavariani gave a concert of the work of Mussorgsky,Prokofiev and his father Aleksi Machavariani at Tbilisi Music Centre.


It was a risk devoting the second half of the programme to Aleksi Machavariani's music for the ballet "The Taming of the Shrew",particulary as it was the world premiere of this piece. It is a substantial work,certainly not incidental music,and in a way it was unfortunate that this was the premiere,as it will repay considerable future study.

It grabs the audience from the first however,and in an unusual way.The first bars declare "Watch out,watch out,there's a shrew about",and you never know how seriously to take what is being said throughout. It is very difficult to maintain such a tone for any length of time without being misunderstood,but this music and this performance pulled this off,in an excellent rendering of the light comedy of Shakespeare's play.Within a short while you know that this is going to be the highlight of the show.The orchestration is flawless and very satisfying for the performers,who each have a considerable part and plenty to say, the music darting around from one section to another like a gymnast flinging himself about on the rings.The deeply suggestive tempo,the musical equivalent of rapidly raising eyebrows,is maintained even in the more solemn parts,when the consequences of all the jollity are reflected on,but nothing gets in the way of the fundamental triumph of fun when the shrew is tamed,but into a wiser shrew,at the end.

Like all bloodthirsty reviewers you wait for the misplaced effect,mistiming,failure of expres- sion,wrong choice or misplaced note in this piece.In this music,and this performance of it, this reviewer waited in vain.The piece is brilliant,like the way it was played,but it has far greater substance than a work which has brilliance alone.When you write reviews people tell you not to be too positive or negative because people will think it is a put up job.If this newspaper wants to sack me for telling the truth,let it. If Russia wants to start another war and Georgia can choose its weapon,it should choose the music of Aleksi Machavariani.
             By Rumwold Leigh. "Messenger". 03.11.2009.

44.)...Alexi Matchavariani was a Georgian, who, as can be seen by his dates, spent most of his life under Soviet rule.
He received the usual collection of grandiloquently titled Soviet awards, including the People's Artist of the USSR and the USSR State Prize. Perhaps most significantly, he was one of the lesser composers along with Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Khachaturian to be accused of "formalism" in 1948.....
He wrote seven symphonies, concertos for piano, cello and violin, of course, , as well as ballet scores, and much chamber music. Some of this was recorded by Melodiya in the LP era (in some instances such as this one, conducted by his son Vakhtang), and this is where the current recording comes from.There are other recordings also available in the same way, including three of the symphonies, the ballet "Othello" and two string quartets.....
Yehudi Menuhin is quoted as describing the concerto as "beautiful - it contains all the passion, the poetry and deep spirituality ... added to the lyrical quality of the music there is a robust intellectual approach - all in all, a most memorable piece which any violinist would have great pleasure in interpreting". It was performed by David Oistrakh in the 1950s and was recorded outside the USSR on the Columbia label, though I cannot find who the soloist was. [LP Westminster XWN 18535: USSR State Radio Orchestra, O. Dmitriade (cond), M. Vaiman (violin) according to Onno van Rijen - Len] .....
Despite the date of composition, this is not a neo-Romantic work, but one firmly of the Romantic era. In fact, you might imagine it to be the violin concerto that Rachmaninov never wrote. It is cast in the traditional Romantic three-movement format of Brahms and Tchaikovsky: the first, the longest, where the composer shows his skill in developing themes, the second, a gorgeous adagio, and the finale, a virtuoso crowd pleaser. .....
The first movement (I can find no tempo indications) features development of two very contrasting themes: the first, pulsating and vibrant and the second, meltingly lyrical. The slow movement has a more important role for the orchestra.The third movement has elements in the orchestra reminiscent of Shostakovich's first piano concerto, but is dominated by the violin fireworks, which it is easy to imagine may be based on Georgian folk music.....
This concerto is not going to supplant the Tchaikovsky in your affections, but it is at least as good, and in my opinion better, than the Khachaturian with which it is roughly contemporary. Surely Naxos, as it delves further into the obscure, could put this on its "to do" list. .....
Marvellously entertaining, stirringly romantic and totally deserving of a new recording.

            David J Barker

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45.)   Alexi Matchavariani - the Beethoven of Georgia.
When I was 17 (1981), I heard Alexi Matchavariani's violin concerto for the first time. With a tonality that reminded me of Schoenberg’s early work, it is a wonderful piece that makes use of delicate orchestration.
Most of all, I was moved by the wonder of the motifs. In the middle stage of the first movement, the violin solo ends, and a variation of the second theme is played by the entire orchestra. This is the signature part of this piece. This music does not only express the harsh nature of the Caucasus but that of all the mountain regions of West Asia. But when one considers the musical scale of this melody, it truly has a more Georgian feeling. In his music, lives, joy, and sadness of the people of Georgia has been finely expressed.


            By Kazuhiko Kashima, 09-05-2014.

46.)   "Cut the crap and get the juice" Alexi Machavariani's opera Medea, July 5.
The only thing you can predict about the music of Alexi Machavariani is that it will be of the highest quality.
Those familiar with his monumental orchestral works would expect a Matchavariani opera to be a very involved and grand affair.
Instead, in Medea, he presents one you could performe in any living room............
......The Georgian libretto, written largely by conductor Vakhtang Machavariani who is giving so much to the world by binging his father's music to a wider audience, was incomprehensible for the non-Georgian, despite the helpful summary in the programme.
As with all good operas however this hardly mattered...............
......You imagine Alexi Machavariani played every instrument under the sun and sang well too, such is his empathy for each part:............
......Perheps this opera should be compared not with other operas but Milton's brief epic Paradise Regained. Read it on its own terms, it is a masterpiece. Start comparing it with what you think it should be, you get lost. Just as with Georgia and its people in fact.
It's no crime coming from an English speaking country, but as Machavariani senior and junior show, cultural background is no exuse for ignorance.
            The Messenger, July 2010. by Rumwold Leigh.

Books about Alexi Matchavariani.

“Die Musik in Russland und in der Sowietunion”. Karl Laux. “Henschelverlag Berlin” – 1958. About A. Matchavariani.

“Ballet Gestern und Hente”. Eberhard Rebling. “Henschelverlag Berlin” – 1961.

“Choral and Chamber music of Alexi Matchavariani”. Author E. Londaridze. “Khelovneba” – 1978.

“Choral and Chamber-instrumental creative activity of Alexi Matchavariani”. Author E. Londaridze. “Khelovneba” – 1978.

V. Kuharsky. “About music and musicians of our days”. “Soviet Composer”, Moscow – 1979. Pages: 165-177.

Karlos Palassio. "Composer and life". Moscow, “Soviet Composer” – 1980. About A. Matchavariani.

“Alexi Matchavariani”. Author M. Vershinin. “Soviet Composer”, Moscow – 1985.

“The Artist and life”. Author G. Paatashvili. “Georgian Theater” – 1991.

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