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Artyom Dervoed : Russian Guitar Music : CD

BIKTASHEV: Orpheus – Poem : OREKHOV: Troika Variations : RUDNEV : The Old Lime Tree : KOSHKIN: The Princes Toys – Suite.

Artyom Dervoed

Naxos: 8570447


This recital consists of contemporary Russian composers, and so we begin with Valery Biktashev, born December 1963, a new name to me .here we find the Orpheus - Poem, which is dramatic and modern in harmony but still not atonal, making it a very interesting opening to this album.At certain points we find some very sudden loud chords and some moments of note bending, which seems to be there to create a very unfriendly atmosphere at this particular point in the piece. However at over 15 minutes of music you will realise that it goes through many contrasting moments and emotions, and at its close you feel that you have come across a major work that you may not have heard before.

Sergei Orekhov was a six and seven string guitar player whose dates are 1935 – 1998.The song known as Troika describes a three – horse carriage, but also apparently evokes vast distances of Russian landscape, unrequited love, and the sadness of autumn. This piece has many elements and certainly moves at a very fast pace on a number of occasions, showing how brilliant a player Dervoed actually is. The music is significantly more tonal than the previous work, and again is quite a find as it is a wonderful piece of superb writing.

Sergei Rudnev , born in 1955 is another new composer to me .The Old Lime Tree is a Russian Folksong with a lovely engaging melody , and harmonised beautifully by the composer. This is again a work of considerable beauty that many will love and just goes to show me, and probably many of you reading this, just how much beautiful music there is around the world, written for our instrument, that we simply haven’t come across.

The final 28+ minutes of the CD is most definitely the most well – known work. It introduced me , and no doubt many of you to the previously unknown name of Nikita Koshkin, as I well remember seeing it performed at a concert here, by Vladimir Mikulka, and it quite astonishing me for its newness, its daring music and many other things besides. Divided into 6 movements , it’s very pictorial quality  showed me a new style of writing that I had never heard before, and here our performer makes a stunning job of a really extremely difficult piece to bring off successfully, but he does that extremely well!

Altogether this is a very entertaining album many pieces of which you are liable not to have heard or played and I can only say that it really is worth trying to get hold of it, because some of this music here is quite astonishing.

Chris Dumigan

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