Friedrich Lips

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 Saturday, August 18, 2018 09:11 




Lips CD 025
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Lips Concerto

A.Kholminov (*1925): Concerto for Bayan and Symphony Orchestra (2009)

In 2007 A.N.Kholminov surprised me with a phone call: “I will write a great work for you, a concerto with Symphony Orchestra. You have a jubilee in 2008!” This task proved not to be very easy for the master already advanced in years: several times he changed single fragments himself, sometimes at my request. But eventually, by his sophistication, he created an impressive fresco, where on the background of the symphonic orchestra the bayan was featured as a solo instrument in a very bright and pulsating way. The score is written so masterfully that the soloist is not drowned anywhere. In Kholminov’s music, grown up in the best traditions of the Russian school of composers, the influence of his great countrymen can be felt: Mussorgsky and Borodin with their broad Russian hymns and their monumental sonority.


 E.Podgaits (*1949): “Lips Concerto” for Bayan and Symphony Orchestra (2001)

The special dedication to the artist expressed in the title of “Lips Concerto” is based on a series of concrete symbols. Thus, Bach’s invention in F major begins with the sounds “fa – la”, which corresponds to the initials of the artist. The digits of the telephone number of the artist (3152824) result in a melody, which the composer uses humorously in several passages. During the whole concerto, the magnificent beauty of the harmonic ellipse (this word also contains the surname of the artist) is charming the public and solidifies the characteristic episodes of the concert: foxtrot, tango (in three beats!), waltz (in four beats!). As you know, the rhythm plays a very special artistic role in Podgaits' work. Because of a varied rhythmic imagination, which carries the musical subject with a firm logic, neither the artist nor the audience will be feeling bored when listening to this concert. Thanks to his bright and optimistic view of the world, the composer confirms the life, the beauty and the joy of existence. But ... everything in life vanishes. The music ends with a shade of sadness and grief. The holiday has passed... But what a very special holiday it was!

(Quoted from Friedrich Lips’ book: “It seems like yesterday...”, Muzyka publishing, 2008).


Alexander Kholminov (*1925): Concerto for Bayan and Symphony Orchestra (2009) 1)   21:21

 Efrem Podgaits (*1949): „LIPS Concerto“ for Bayan and Symphony Orchestra (2001)  2)   31:16

Total time:  52:37

Friedrich Lips, bayan

Symphony Orchestra of Russia’s Gnesin Academy of Music

Timur Mynbaev, conductor

1)    Live recording in Moscow’s Gnesin Concert Hall on December, 12th, 2010

2)    Live recording in Moscow’s Gnesin Concert Hall on October, 24th, 2003









Under the Sign of  Scorpio

“Ex animo“ - from the heart (lat.). Today’s composers have found out that the bayan’s timbre can be perfectly combined with string bow instruments: both violin and   violoncello. The composition of Podgaits is one of the few examples of a bayan quintet –  bayan with string quartet (I remember Torbjörn Lundquist's composition “Bewegungen“ (movements), written in 1966). The width of melodic breath, delightful beauty of the theme in Podgaits is organically intertwined with dancing rhythms. The quintet was commissioned by Fine Arts Quartet (Milwaukee, USA). The first performance was given there by Friedrich Lips and the quartet.

“Under the Sign of  Scorpio“ - one of the biggest frescos of the outstanding composer. In each composition for bayan Sofia Gubaidulina opens up new specific possibilities of the instrument and finds new interesting solutions to realize her plans.          In the given composition she used the features connected with alternation of the same keys on both keyboards – free bass and standard bass. According to the composer: “… But another possibility of the standard-bass manual was the most important one for me: by simultaneously depressing two buttons corresponding to a major and a minor chord respectively, and then shifting the hand gradually upwards or downwards over the instrument's entire range - without changing the finger position - six different hexachords will result. These six hexachords lend the entire composition the structural foundation for its material and form: variations on six hexachords - thus the work's subtitle. The title of the bayan concerto “Under the Sign of Scorpio“ arose from the fact that this work is dedicated to one of the most serious musicians of our time, the bayanist Friedrich Lips, who was born under the zodiacal sign of Scorpio. (Incidentally, this is also my own zodiacal sign.)“

It is known that the scorpio often tries to bite himself in his tail and this pursuit of a tail forms a circle – a symbol of eternity. This picture is underlined by vorticose passages of the bayan in the end of this work.

Efrem Podgaits (*1949): „Ex animo“  for bayan and  string quartet (2004)          26:08

Sofia Gubaidulina (*1931):  „Under the Sign of Scorpio“ (2003) 1)                    24:00

                                          Variations on Six Hexachords for Bayan and Large Orchestra


Friedrich Lips, bayan


„New Russian Quartet“

Julia Igonina, 1st violin

Jelena Charitonova, 2nd violin

Alexander Galkovski, viola

Aleksey Steblyov, violoncello


BBC Symphony Orchestra; Michail Agrest, cond.                                                                         


1)    live recording in London’s Barbican Hall on January, 14th 2007




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