The crystalline purity and brilliance of Vyacheslav Guyvoronsky's trumpet sound is an utter delight, and comes through gorgeously on this duo recording with accordionist/vocalist Evelin Petrova. Alone, as he is on the extended introduction to "Still-life" at the beginning of this disc, he improvises searchingly, without obvious pyrotechnics or heat. He slowly weaves a spider web of melody, eventually joined by weird cries by Petrova, followed by her more melodious accordion. Together they have a strikingly original sound full of possibilities of texture and melody. A great many of these possibilities are explored on this memorable disc.
Every one of the eleven tracks is unique, and every one is played with extraordinary verve and virtuosity. "Pastorale," "Bow," and "Sit-round gatherings" are brisk folkish romps, heightened by some unbelievable playing from Guyvoronsky. "Celestial Yaha," on which Petrova provides a rhythmic base while simultaneously exploring the highest melodic regions with the trumpeter, won the Special Composition Prize at the 5th International Astor Piazzola Competition - and it was a well-deserved award. The piece, invested again with classical sonorities, wings through a great breadth of moods and tempos, returning periodically to the principal theme amidst a stunning array of variations and extemporizations. "Spanish Waltz" is anything but, but it contains more impressive sonic scenes, featuring a return of the spooky vocals and some otherworldly trumpet growling by Guyvoronsky. "Memories of a Waltz," the closing track, is similarly dark but more buttoned-down.
The title track is a less frenetic rumination, which slowly gathers intensity and hypnotic force. On "Ballad" Guyvoronsky dons his Miles Davis suit and sounds in places as if he's actively parodying the master, complete with fragile (muted) tone and broken scalar runs. "Field" starts a moving trumpet meditation over a drone from Petrova, who kicks into action after awhile. Mr. G. still has the mute here, but sounds a little less tongue-in-cheek. "Assembly-shop" is a playful Lester Bowie-ish exercise in trumpet multiphonics.
A wild disc. A great disc. Recommended, highly.