VYACHESLAV ARTYOMOV (b.1940): Star Wind (Mikhail Tsinman [violin], Alexander Rudin [cello], Konstantin Yefimov [flute], Andrei Kuznetsov [horn], Anatloy Sheludakov [piano], Alexander Sovorov [glockenspiel]), Variations: Nestling Antsali (Alexander Korneyev [flute], Vyacheslav Artyomov [piano]), Moonlight Dreams (Nelly Lee [soprano], Alexander Golyshev [alto flute], Vladimir Tonkha [cello], Dmitri Alexayev [piano]), Romantic Capriccio (Igor Makarov [horn], Yuri Smirnov [piano], Alikhanova String Quartet), Mattinate (Iana Besiadinskaya [soprano], Zarius Shikhmurzayeva [violin], Vladimir Pakulichev [flute], Nikolai Komolyatov [guitar]), Scenes (Grand Pas), (Tsinman [violin] Igor Abramov [clarinet], Nikolai Gorbunov [double bass], Sheludiakov [piano], Valeriy Polivanov & Alexander Suvorov [percussion]).
Catalogue Number: 04U052
Label: Divine Art
Reference: dda 25176
Description: These works display several aspects of Artyomov's chameleonic compositional personality - separately, as it were, rather than magnificently synthesized into one as in the large-scale works previously offered in this series. Star Wind is a nocturne suggesting a kind of spiritual contemplation. The idiom is a kind of fragile Impressionism, not without its tonal basis, punctuated by several brief episodes of lush Romanticism, gone as soon as they appear. The piece has a central climax, lending it a Romantic contour, before subsiding into meditative mood. Variations apparently refers to a mythical Madagascan bird. It begins with a dodecaphonic row, treated to increasingly complicated accumulations of harmony and melodic interpolations until the original is obscured. Twittering figuration in both instrumental parts provides some kinship with Messiaen. The song cycle sets four 7th-century Chinese poems (in English translation) in which moonlight is a common theme. The piece is constructed as a miniature cantata with instrumental interludes, in a mood redolent of stillness, solitude and reflection and a predominantly late-romantic vocabulary. Romantic Capriccio was written in memory of Sibelius, with whose music it has very little in common, although it is very tonal; the persistent horn calls suggest a more German flavor of Romanticism. The warm, very southern-European "Morning Songs" are brief, atmospheric serenade-like instrumental miniatures with fleeting vocalise parts. Scenes presents a side of Artyomov that you probably never thought existed. Like any good Soviet composer he could turn out film music when required, but the film for which this music was written was suppressed when one of its stars left the country. This suite encompasses a prelude that sounds like a demented take-off of Milhaud's La création du monde, a sentimental serenade, a couple of spikily cartoonish scherzi, and some genuinely toe-tapping jazz. About as incongruous as you can imagine from the composer of grand symphonic spiritual epics that we thought we knew.