Home > News > "White Balance" in reviews

"White Balance" in reviews

I haven't had such pleasure reading the word "manifesto" for a long time! This is how the format of the album of St. Petersburg and Moscow composers is defined — a collection of modern chamber music. The compositions were recorded for the first time, the album is a notable point in the life of contemporary art.

The St. Petersburg orchestra "Divertissement" plays modern — academic music as if it is magic understandable and necessary. It seems perfectly static, in fact, it offers movement, but at a higher energy level. This dynamic is elusive and not always intelligible, and since it is sometimes felt instinctively. The program opens with a work by Nastasia Khrushchev — "The Book of Sorrow and Joy" for two violins, strings and piano.

These sorrows and joys are not simple, they seem to hide, look out one from behind the other, do not complement, but exist together and all this goes in a circle in endless motion. Tense rhythmic structures with nervous strings are repeated. I want to set the pace and notes, as in the margins of my favorite diary, "anxious and easy", for example. The sounds are rather contemplative, without tantrums and without the desire to share your feeling with someone. It seems important that the sensations are not crystal clear, the joy is fussy, as if with dark clouds on the background, and it is not clear what kind of background it is there. It's such a wonderful uncertainty, windiness and excitement.

Alternatively, Sergei Akhunov's dramatic "Passacaglia" sounds, there is no nervousness in it, but there is a sad reflection. It's like looking back, a game with shadows, but not hide-and-seek, but chess on an endless board, not assuming victories and defeats, but only the joy of meeting the unknown. This understanding is supported by the organ restraint of the orchestra. The next, as if iridescent, melting, title — for the album — is a play by Anatoly Korolev. There is an endless search in it. "White balance" sounds poetic, but has a specific practical meaning for image transmission technologies and means that the chosen color scheme of the work corresponds to the scale of the depicted object. It seems to confirm the "truth" in art, the "correct" color transfer. The case is initially individual, but the most important. Here is the sound in this play and is looking for its truth, it seems, sometimes, it seems, it comes to a dead end, but it is looking again.

The thin fabric of Sergey Akhunov's "Art of Associations" shows the sources of inspiration, strength, creative energy, and breathing. The work consists of several layers that unfold slowly, as in a dream. Akhunov keeps the mood and the memory of the classic form and acts soothing, but not contemplatively, but detached. The form is defined by "Prelude", "Interlude", "Postlude" – reflections, between which there are almost without interruption pieces with unique titles referring to the most important works of brilliant musicians, binding and programming. Among them is the subtle disturbing piece "Bach: Aria", then the light gentle "Mozart: Adagio", the calm and contemplative "Schubert: Fantasy". Between them is located, as a symbol of modernity, the quietest and deepest, but ending with an explosion of "Pyart: Fratres". The pieces are different, but they are perceived in unity, but this is not a symphony, not a complete statement. And the final "Postlude" sounds not at all pacifying.

The works of this album can, as it seems, sound in organ versions, they have a special, strict and organized freedom of spirit. The music is not didactic and not heroic, not romantic, and not tragic. This can be understood both as a removal from serene relaxation and as an elevation above the mundane, a search for a new spirituality. You can't march and dance to this music, it's strange to hear it not only in a restaurant, but even, perhaps, in a chill-out. The fact that such creativity sounds more and more often and more noticeable, I really want to consider it a trend – a new ability to get away from the hustle and bustle closes the work of modern academic composers with Baroque music.