Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Vyacheslav Artyomov, The Way to Olympus
This new release is called The Way to Olympus (Divine Art 25171). The centerpiece of the program is the 33 minute "Symphony: The Way to Olympus." It is a beautifully paced, sprawling and highly evocative sound poem for orchestra, here recorded some time ago but sounding gloriously well. The USSR State Academic Symphony Orchestra perform the work nicely under the baton of Timur Mynbayev. The name of the orchestra indicates an earlier recording date, of course. The work is very dramatic, moving, original.
Artyomov's story has been a sad one of a life of unrecognition, state hostility to his art, a difficult and lonely time and a heroic determination that perhaps can be sensed in the deepest recesses of his orchestral expressions. I hear a penetrating inwardness and a contrastingly outward skyrocketing elation to the music.
"Gurian Hymn" has a lovely unfurling with three solo violins nicely weaving delicate filigrees of sadness and mystery over a rather strikingly evocative orchestral palette.
The piano "Preludes to Sonnets" follow and they have a searching post-Scriabinesque poetic clout that sets us up well for the rarified brightness of the following "Concert of the 13" for piano and chamber ensemble. The piano part is bracing! It is another significant segment to a very significant program.
I find the performances and recording quality highly appropriate and appealing.
Artyomov deserves our undivided attention. I would go so far to say without hesitation that Artyomov on the basis of this volume and the others comes before us as a tragically underappreciated Modern master, a Russian Ives in terms of creating beautifully advanced music in spite of social neglect and isolation. His time has come. By all means listen to this album. Then if you are as impressed as I am get the others too!