RUMEN BALYOZOV (b.1949): Bestiary and inVENTSIons for Cello and Piano, 2 Children's Stories and Mozart a la Schnittke for Piano, Solo Cello: Welcome 20th Century, Wedding Capriccio, Capriccio on Another Occasion "Moz-art a la...", Capriccio on an occasion "Happy birthday to...".
Catalogue Number: 04M082
Reference: GD 349
Description: A lively, cheeky sense of humor pervades much of this music, a trait also on display in the amusing discussion between composer and cellist that forms the greater part of the notes. This is not to underestimate the accomplished craftsmanship of the music, nor its thorough employment of a wide range of compositional devices (more or less tonal most of the time, though with whatever modernist elements - including vocalizations - the composer felt like incorporating used as special effects here and there). Welcome, 20th century consists of little portraits of styles that emerged in the past 100 years, from jazz (also making an appearance in the Bestiary and Children's Stories) to dodecaphony and 'modernism' (not so very forbidding, really). It comes as no surprise that the composer likes Schnittke, whose post-modernist polystylism is alluded to in the Mozart à la pieces (which also display a genuine affection for Mozart). The character pieces of Bestiary have the descriptive quality and humorous intent of Saint-Saëns' Carnival; the two occasional pieces play around with the wedding march and Happy birthday, and so on. Lighthearted music, then, but not superficial, and very enjoyable. Venteslav Nikolov (cello), Radoslav Nikolov (piano).