The first thing to say about this ep is, that if you like your classical music with a Russian flavour then you are going to really, really enjoy this. Chris at Sonic Reverie writes probably my favourite blog out there. He caters to my taste in music with the music he writes about and has alerted me to some real gems over the last year or two. And, with his label, he has passed me some real gems too. Released on Sonic Reverie Records this is not a record for those who don’t love classical music. And though it will have a wide appeal I do think it’s a quite possibly a record for the pure classical fan. What do I mean by this? Well, I guess there is a distinction between modern/contemporary classical and old school classical. I remember hearing purists complaining about Einaudi using laptops in his work and let’s face it, Einaudi borders closer to the old school than the contemporary. Sure, he’s a contemporary composer, but he’s hardly a Library Tapes, Johann Johannsson or even Goldmund who immerse their work in technology, combining acoustic instruments and electronic equipment to great effect and crossing the divide of where classical electronic music collide. Nope, this record is far more pure. It’s old wordly and it is RUSSIAN.
This is not necessarily evident from the first notes of opener ‘While The Glacier Melts’ but slowly and surely the piece builds and develops and as the strings enter the affair, the old quality and Russianness of the music becomes very evident. It’s got character. I know, I keep saying it’s old but I think I love this for precisely that reason. I mean, I can imagine sitting in the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, watching this work unfold on stage. And make no mistake it’s a work. Well, I wish I could imagine that as it looks like the most beautiful theatre, it would be an amazing experience.
Anyways, there is a beautiful coherence to this record. A story unfolds as you follow the journey from beginning to end. There is a drama to it all. At times, it almost feels like it was composed with a specific story in mind. Like Evgrafov is trying to tell a tale through the music. A skill, which is perhaps often forgotten, and is one of days gone by, is the ability to tell a story through your music. Evgrafov, for me, has achieved this with this work. I can imagine this set against a play, or perhaps trying to tell the tale of a love that cannot be for instance. I don’t know. But this record creates imagery and stories in my head, and I think I love it for that very reason. It’s not just stimulating my ears, but it’s inspiring my mind and making me think that in Dmitry Evgrafov, Chris may well have unearthed a fantastic talent because he is 17!!! Yes, 17 years old and writing such mature and intelligent pieces of classical music.
It’s interesting to note that in his press release it earmarks Olafur Arnalds and Max Richter as influences. I just don’t hear that. I hear the influence of old classical musicians at work here. I hear potential symphonies in the future. I think this young man has a very big future ahead of him in the world of classical music. He can play. He can clearly compose. I’d encourage everyone to go here and download this EP when it becomes available on 14 February 2011 because it is a simply brilliant piece of music from a very talented young man. Enjoy