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From all accounts this is Vyacheslav Ganelin's strongest ensemble since that first early 1970s trio in which Ganelin, Chekassin and Tarasov, stunned Europe with their rich and daring musical canvases.

Conversation I [watch and listen -- chapter 1, 0:00-1:57] emerges, as if from the mists, with breath-stopping delicacy; Klaus Kugel confines himself to brush-strokes and bowed percussion while Vysniauskas enters the polystylistic conversation virtually unnoticed.

After such a captivating start the trio builds to a first insistent climax followed by a less discursive, meandering section -- then an aggressive, somewhat dissonant time of sound and angst. From this point the three players build to an extended aleatoric episode; eventually shaping a rapid scherzo-like form out of the confusion.

Here we return to the opening wisps. With recourse to synthesizer, piano and percussion, Ganelin is able to assume the sound of upper winds and it's with these receding effects that Conversation I finally fades into silence.

In contrast Conversation II (a seven-part free improvisation) sets out with Ganelin and Kugel drumming with seismic fury ('jungle-drums style') -- as if to outdo each other. NB -- After twenty years making music together their complementary improvisations are uncommonly inspired.

Klaus Kugel. Screenshot © 2006 Nemu Records
Klaus Kugel. Screenshot © 2006 Nemu Records

Out of this bold introduction Vysniauskas enters the fray with rapid 'arabesque' riffs [watch and listen -- chapter 6, 37:07-38:22] while his companions keep up the racing pace; a far cry from Conversation I. A blanket diminuendo follows as each player appears to search for an escape from the segmentary absence of thematic direction.

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Copyright © 31 December 2007 Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand


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