On 20 July, 2012, I had the chance to attend one of the NonClassical concert series, at the V22 Summer Club in the vast V22 Halls of Bermondsey, South East London. NonClassical is direceted by Gabriel Prokofiev, who runs his record label in various clubs and venues throughout London, showcasing the best in cutting-edge contemporary classical music. The V22 Summer Club is a huge warehouse type of room (formerly a biscuit factory), with four equal measured pillars/columns in the centre of the space, giving ample dimensions and flexibility for performances. The concert featured works by three performers in rotation; cellist Peter Gregson, violinist Aisha Orazbayeva, and the recorder quintet Consortium5 (Orazbayeva and Consortium5 are artists-in-residence with the NonClassical Label). Besides the recorder quintet, all of the pieces (excluding the lyrical Vocal by Max Richter) featured solo instruments with multi-tracks recordings. The series made great use of the space and all pieces blended well in the venue.
Violinist Aisha Orazbayeva presented a compelling programme of contemporary violin works on April 23 at Kings Place, London. It was great to hear her live after reviewing her recording for Nonclassical which showed her to be a violinist of strong interpretative abilities and tonal control. Such skills permit a breadth of expression for repertoire that needs strong leadership from the performer to make it a convincing experience for the listener. The recording made a strong impression and her live performance did not disappoint.
Her name might ring a bell since Steven Berryman reviewed her first CD last year for I Care if You Listen… Aisha Orazbayeva is a Kazakh-born violinist that is making a solid name for herself in the new classical music world. Aisha was in town for a professional development workshop and a series of concerts at Carnegie Hall (one of them reviewed by David Pearson) and we were really happy to hang out with her between two rehearsals. We met at the beautiful Mirrortone Studios in Manhattan. Roman Molino Dunn and Jay Rothman kindly welcomed us in their state-of-the-art midtown facility. Aisha performs Morton Feldman For Aaron Copland at 8:48.
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.
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