Sony Classical presents its debut album from charismatic cellist Anastasia Kobekina, Venice. The “unrivalled musician” (Le Figaro) known for her fearless musicianship and “almost overwhelming sincerity” (The Strad) presents an eclectic concept album exploring her own multifaceted relationship to the city of Venice.
Venice, which showcases many sides of Kobekina’s artistry, draws listeners away from the lugubrious gondoliers and carnival masks that have provided our standard musical image of Venice. Instead, the album asks how much of what we’ve internalized about the iconic city is actually real. ‘Venice feels not just a city but an idea, a character in itself,’ says the cellist; ‘or maybe it presents a different character to each of us. It asks questions of you, fires your imagination.’
Her album presents an embracing, personal conversation between past and present, including music from the Renaissance of Claudio Monteverdi and John Dowland to the twenty-first-century of Brian Eno and Caroline Shaw. Also included is Kobekina’s performance of her own father Vladimir Kobekin’s work based on a melody by Monteverdi, “Ariadne’s Lament.” “This piece goes right under my skin, and recording it one of the most intense musical experiences I have ever had,” she says. “My ultimate goal in making music is getting beyond cello technique,” says Kobekina, “beyond the wood, the strings, the bow, beyond simply reproducing a sound or echoing a particular voice, and instead attempting to reach for that feeling when I sing in my most expressive, private and personal moments. Music at its most direct.”