VYACHESLAV ARTYOMOV (b.1946): Symphony “Gentle Emanation”, Tristia II for Piano and Orchestra (with Poem and Prayer by Nikolai Gogol w/Mikhail Ohilippov [reader]).
Catalogue Number: 11S070
Label: Divine Art
Reference: dda 25144
Description: The symphony Gentle Emanation (the title from the book of Job in the Russian Bible, describing the moment before the appearance of God) is an epic work of over forty minutes, in three movements subdivided into 28 small subsections played without a break. Despite the title, this work is worlds apart from 'new spirituality', and in the course of a complex dramatic narrative traverses many moods, from mysterious to violently turbulent; it could be the entire drama of the trials of Job. Artyomov's idiom varies wildly and somewhat disconcertingly between tonality, non-functional tonal harmony reminiscent of late Scriabin or Messiaen, and a degree of chromaticism that borders on atonality, but always with a strong sense of harmonic and rhythmic directionality. Extravagant orchestral forces are used to the greatest possible coloristic effect. Tristia II is also highly unconventional, a half-hour work in eleven linked sections with a concertante piano part, incorporating two spoken prayerful texts by Gogol, dramatically narrated against shifting planes of micropolyphonic texture in the first and last sections. The sonorous cluster-texture persists for a while after the introduction of the piano, which gradually animates the music into a series of almost neo-romantic climaxes, interspersed with slow meditative interludes punctuated by Messiaenic chords. Philip Kopachevsky (piano), Russian National Orchestra; Teodor Currentzis, Vladimir Ponkin (Tristia II).