NPR logo
The Lyrical Quality of Violist Kim Kashkashian
  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
The Lyrical Quality of Violist Kim Kashkashian


In the liner notes to her latest CD, the violist Kim Kashkashian writes that one of her earliest and most visceral memories is of her father's singing voice. And since she began playing, she says she has always tried to capture some of the essence of that sound.

SIEGEL: Songs from Spain and Argentina." Here's his review.

TOM MANOFF: Although Kim Kashkashian is world-famous as a violist, when I hear her name, the first word that comes to mind isn't viola, but lyricism, that quality of music to be songlike and to flow easily with emotion.


MANOFF: The words in these songs are important to Kashkashian, and you can hear how they underlie her interpretation by following each lyric in the liner notes. "Asturiana," the title track, is a song from the Spanish province of Asturia. The words, in part, say this: "Seeking consolation, I drew near a green pine tree. And seeing me weep, it wept."


MANOFF: More than most classical traditions, Spain's is deeply connected to its folk and popular music. Flamenco is one of these styles. And in this song by Manuel De Falla, the piano imitates a guitar, and the viola, a gypsy singer.


MANOFF: Robert Levin, the pianist, always reveals something interesting in familiar music. As famous as these pieces may be, Levin emphasizes bits of harmony and melody that seemed to have been hiding in the piano part, which creates another level of interest in this performance. But it's the melodies that matter most. Striking in their beauty, and captivating in the emotions they impart, they will leave you singing.

SIEGEL: Our critic, Tom Manoff, reviewing the latest CD from violist Kim Kashkashian. It's called "Asturiana: Songs from Spain and Argentina." You can hear more selections and discover more classical music at



I'm Michele Norris.

SIEGEL: And I'm Robert Siegel.

You are listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.