Jandali - Concertos | Cedille Records CDR90000220

Jandali - Concertos


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Label: Cedille Records

Cat No: CDR90000220

Barcode: 0735131922029

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 23rd June 2023



Rachel Barton Pine (violin)
Anthony McGill (clarinet)
ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra


Marin Alsop


Jandali, Malek

Clarinet Concerto
Violin Concerto


Rachel Barton Pine (violin)
Anthony McGill (clarinet)
ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra


Marin Alsop


Clarinettist Anthony McGill and violinist Rachel Barton Pine are featured soloists on a new recording of two concertos composed in response to societal injustices by Syrian composer Malek Jandali, performed by the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and led by Marin Alsop, a champion of the composer’s work.

Malek Jandali, called “deeply enigmatic” by Gramophone, has been praised for writing “heart-rending melodies, lush orchestration, clever transitions and creative textures” (American Record Guide). His repertoire, which ranges from chamber music to large-scale orchestral works, integrates Middle-Eastern modes into Western classical forms and harmony.

Rachel Barton Pine, “an exciting, boundary-defying performer” (The Washington Post), performs Jandali’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (2014), a work that honours “all women who thrive with courage” according to the composer. Jandali’s concerto is in recognition of the women of Syria, continuing his aim to preserve the cultural heritage of his homeland.

The Violin Concerto incorporates Syrian melodies and idioms into Jandali’s Western-inspired harmonies and forms. Jandali calls upon an array of Syrian and Arabic music forms and folk melodies including multiple samā’i and bashraf (instrumental pieces), and longa (dances), from different maqam (modes). He also makes use of the oud (Arabic lute) in his symphonic scoring to infuse the work with the authentic sound and feeling of Syria.

A particularly notable samā’i inspired by traditional Syrian folk music from the area along the Silk Road is used for a “Women’s Theme”. This theme is representative of the folk music that is a source of comfort and healing for unjustly detained, peaceful Syrian activists and other women and mothers living in fear.

Jandali’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra (2021) is dedicated to its performer Anthony McGill (“the total package… stylish, passionate and limitlessly fluent on the clarinet,” Bachtrack), “in memory of all victims of injustice.” McGill says of the work, “In the midst of the pain and the violence and injustice in the world all we are left with is the ability to pour our hearts and our souls into something more beautiful, into something more powerful, so it can communicate throughout all time and live on.”

Like all of Jandali’s works, the Clarinet Concerto is infused with ancient themes from Jandali’s homeland as a means of preservation. Jandali explores variations on themes from old and traditional Syrian musical forms and modalities, with striking musical effects and wide-ranging highs and lows in the orchestral writing.

The recording’s executive producer is Malek Jandali; music producer is Erich Hofmann; session engineer is Friedrich Trondl; with mixing and mastering by Bill Maylone. Jandali’s Violin Concerto and Clarinet Concerto were recorded 27–29 May 2022 at the Funkhaus Wien Großer Sendesaal in Vienna, Austria.

Rachel Barton Pine has recorded more than 20 albums for Cedille Records, including the recently released Violin Concertos by Black Composers Through the Centuries: 25th Anniversary Edition, which features a new recording of Florence Price’s Violin Concerto no.2 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra led by Jonathon Heyward. This is Anthony McGill’s sixth recording for Cedille Records, following the 2022 release of American Stories, featuring music by living American composers performed by McGill with the Pacifica Quartet.

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