|To record this magnificent work Slava Guyvoronsky needed three things: a good string trio, a good sound engineer and a bit of money. However, the fate was not smiling at him. For years one or two, or all three ingredients, were missing. Then one day it all happened. With ten pieces, Guyvoronsky created his most profound work taking us through a wide variety of moods from sophisticated joy to sarcastic irony to deep sadness. If either Mozart or Gill Evans were alive, they would have been proud of this work.
Review: Russian trumpeter Vyacheslav Guyvoronsky usually
does several things to me : his technical skills are awe-inspiring, with a
background from classical to avant-garde, but with a musical vision that is so
full of conflict that it disturbs me. The conflict is the one between serious
heart-felt emotions, musical playfulness and even silly jokes.
The same is true on this great album with an equally fabulous string trio, with
Vladislav Pesin on violin, Dmitry Yakubovsky on alto violin, and Mikhail
Degryarev on cello. But the good thing is that the majority of the ten pieces
are serious, with elements of classical romanticism, avant-garde dissonance,
folk tunes, middle-eastern scales, ... you name it, it's here. "Pastoral
Fugue" is a nice example, starting with solo trumpet, heart-rending, then
being joined by a lovely folk tune on the violins, which evolves in Bach-like
counterpoints of the three string instruments, with the trumpet acting as the
All pieces are through and through composed, at least for the strings, which
gives Guyvoronsky the ample opportunity to soar over it and react in any way he
feels, including not playing at all on the third piece,
On "Fugure With A Lost Theme", his trumpet-playing, unvoiced and
weeping, acts as a disturbing factor over the classical trio, a great conflict
of styles, but the effect is fantastic. "Sol-fa In Tibetan Style"
starts with drone-like strings and bluesy sad trumpet, but then the piece
starts picking up speed, with a more middle-eastern than Tibetan feel, adding
rhythmic complexities and vocals, full of rhythmic emphasis : weird but it
works well. "Ballad" is again all melancholy, but then on the right
side of sentimentalism. But I assume Guyvoronsky thought that four minutes of
seriousness was more than enough, so then comes "Burgher's Concert",
a fun piece, and a great showcase for his exceptional technique, with a tune
fit for the "Comedy Capers", which even includes his trumpet laughing
The album ends with the slow and beautiful "Saraband".
In short, it is fantastic. But then I wonder what it would sound like if he had
left out the jokes. Would it be better? Would it be more coherent? Would it
still be Guyvoronsky? And then I think possibly not. In contrast to some of his
previous albums, I think he found the right balance between artistry and
Highly unusual, but great music by four stellar musicians.