Kancheli: "War is Senseless"

Kancheli: "War is Senseless"
© Sarah Ainslie
Translate the Georgian title of Giya Kancheli's Amao Omi, a new work for chorus and saxophone quartet, and this short, direct comment drives the point home: War is Senseless.

Composed for the Netherlands Chamber Choir and premiered in Europe last year, Amao Omi receives its American premiere this month in New York (10 March) and Philadelphia (11 March), performed by Cantori New York and the PRISM Saxophone Quartet. Mark Shapiro conducts.

Considering that the basis of the composition consists of intonations of the lament, in all their variety — from barely audible keening, whispers and sobs mounting to wails of despair — Kancheli's music remains so beautiful in the moment that the large-scale, one-movement work lasting more than half an hour, flies by imperceptibly.
— Roman Berchenko, Nezavisimaya GazetaThe anguish produced by conflict — and its universality — is a pervasive theme in Kancheli's music. In Amao Omi, he chose individual Georgian words — related mostly to nature, Christianity and to the Georgian landscape — for their meaning and sound quality, and juxtaposed them without syntax.     Amao Omi
     Duration: 27'
     Georgian traditional text
     SATB chorus