Chekalin, Mikhail - Concerto Grosso No. 2

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Boheme Music
Catalog Number: CDBMR 012189
Format: CD
Total Time: 72:12:00

The second longest piece on Mikhail Chekalin's Concerto Grosso No. 2 is "The Sustention In Dancings." Though Chekalin's Russian, it is of Italian horror films that you must think whilst listing to this 16-plus minute piece. Well, Italian horror films and New Orleans jazz. Here Gothic voices - high and low - float across initially sparse piano that fairly soon gains strength, venturing into jazzier realms. And that only describes part of what's going on, as in this mix you'll hear both drums and percussion, the latter sounding quite like castanets. Close your eyes and think of Bela Lugosi, Hammer horror films, and the like. All this is told by mood and effect? and that doesn't even capture all of it. It is the kind of piece that headphones were made for, as a casual listening doesn't capture every nuance. But then, progressive music has never really been for casual listening.

For the most part, Grosso No. 2 can be angular and more avant-garde than its predecessor, Concerto Grosso No. 1. The first piece "New Bolero with Prolongation" is somewhat martial owing to the percussion, but also has a very austere and dark texture to it. It is, at times, also very cinematic, though eccentric. Though Italian, I think of Fellini. For every conventional sounding instrument (trumpet, for example), there is an unconventional sounding "instrument" (the ringing telephone). However, Chekalin used keys and synths to create many of these sounds, percussion and his own vocals rounding things out.

"The Interview With Russia In Respect Of West And East" also has wailing vocals, here with a Middle Eastern aspect to them. The music that sits in the background is quite minimalist and atmospheric. Like on the other longer pieces, various "instruments" seamlessly enter the mix, make their statements, then seamlessly exit. All this gives this, and the entire album a strong sense of movement, as sounds fold and undulate.

Categorized as Space Electronic Music" not very much to me reminds me of "space" (though otherworldly would apply; though space in terms of spatial, yes). However, "Delivery To Nowhere" does sound spacey in one sense of the word, in these bursts of slightly distorted percussion sound more like a "laser blaster" duel from Star Wars? though at the end, a more arty and musical ? like the victor is just firing for the sound of it. Sustained keyboard notes underscore this shootout.

Added to the album on this Boheme reissue are two bonus tracks, "The Fragment Of Movie Music" ? which does have a spacey feel at times, and like other pieces here (composed at the same time) it undulates and throbs and?well, breathes. The other is "The Dream To Accompaniment With Voice And Symphonic Transformation (Dissonata 2)" which does have what you might describe as space feel. Sustained synths provide the floaty, weightless atmosphere, while tinkling piano and synth washes provide the drama. The "voice" in the title might remind folks of the orgasmatic voice in Pink Floyd's "Great Gig In The Sky" ? earthy and free and uninhibited. At the same time, well? I'd describe is as jazz in deep space as the image in mind's eye is of a twinkling star field. As with other tracks, this is a very generalized description, as Chekalin paints his musical landscapes, starscapes, with various textures.

For those seeking music that is constantly intriguing, that seems to push the envelope out a little bit further, then explore Concerto Grosso No 2.

For background info see my review of Grosso No.1

New Bolero With Prolongation (8:26) / The Sustention In Dancings (16:20) / The Interview With Russia In Respect Of West And East (15:15) / Interlude (2:47) / Delivery To Nowhere (3:07) / The Fragment Of Movie Music (3:20) / The Dream To Accompaniment With Voice And Symphonic Transformation (Dissonata 2) (23:37)

Mikhail Chekalin - keyboards, synthesizers, percussion and voice

Vocalise IN Rapide (?/1988)
Post-Pop ? Non-Pop (?/1989)
Meditative Music For The Decomposed Electro-organ 1 (1982?/1991)
Meditative Music For The Decomposed Electro-organ 2 (1983?/1991)
Meditative Music For The Decomposed Electro-organ 3 (1983?/1991)
Practical Music Making 1 (1986?)
Between Spring And Autumn By Stealth (1986/1991)
Practical Music Making 2 (1988?/1991)
The Green Symphony/The Ritual ? Night For Voices (1988?)
Board State (1988/1991)
The Symphony-Phonogram (1989/1992)
Introduction Onto Intuction (1989/1991)
Concerto Grosso No. 1 (1989/1991/2000)
Concerto Grosso No. 2 (1989/1991/2000)
Russian Mystery (1992)
Synthesizer Music From Estonia And Russia (1991)
Night Pulsation (1993)
Film-Music-1 (1993)
Double Album With The Symphony In New Age Style 1 (1993)
Double Album With the Symphony In New Age Style 2 (1995)
Album With The Symphony (?)
Nonconformist (1996)
Porcelain God (1997)
Avoid The Desire For Cutting And Piercing Objects (1999)
Romantic Vampires (1999)
Last Seasons (2001)
Saturn. Izdeliye No. (2002)
FortePIANO (2003)
Meditative Music For A Prepared Organ, Vol. 1 (recorded 1979-83) (2003)
Meditative Music For A Prepared Organ, Vol. 2(recorded 1979-83) (2003)
The Symphony - Phonogram, Vol. 3 (recorded 1980-89) (2004)
Green Symphony / Borderline State, Vol. 4 (recorded 1980-88) (2004)
Between Spring And Autumn By Stealth, Vol. 5 (recorded 1986-93) (2004)
A Pagan Suite (recorded 1990-91) (2004)
Poruganie Patsphika (recorded 2005) (2007)
Paradigm Transitions (recorded 1996) (2007)
Untimely (recorded 2000-02) (2007)

Genre: Other

Origin RU

Added: February 23rd 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Hits: 2909
Language: english


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