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Game Over - Works For Violin & Electronics / Roman Mints

Mints / Bennett / Raikhelson / Buevsky
Release Date: 10/11/2011 
Label:  Quartz Records   Catalog #: 2010  
Composer:  Ed BennettArtem VassilievAlexander RaikhelsonTaras Buevsky
Performer:  Roman Mints
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

GAME OVER Roman Mints 1 , Timur Yakubov (vn 2 ); Dmitri Bulgakov (ob 3 ); Ksenia Bashmet (pn 4 ); Artem Vassiliev 5 , Alexander Raikhelson 6 , Ed Bennett 7 , Taras Buevsky (electronics 8 Read more class="ARIAL12">) QUARTZ QTZ 2010 (56:39)

BENNETT 1,7 Sometimes It Rains. 1,7 String Factory. VASSILIEV 1,5 Story 1. 1,3,4,5 Game Over. RAIKHELSON 1,2,6 Criptophonic Piece. BUEVSKY 1,8 Largo Recitare

Roman Mints is an excellent Russian violinist who has played with well-known orchestras such as Gidon Kremer’s Kremerata Baltica, the London Mozart Players, and the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra. He has performed the Russian premieres of works by Poulenc, Golijov, and Tavener. In 1998, he and oboist Dmitry Bulgakov founded Moscow’s Homecoming Chamber Music Festival. Here, he joins with composers Ed Bennett, Taras Buevsky, Alexander Raikhelson, and Artem Vassiliev to produce music for violin and computer.

Bennett was born in 1975 in County Down, Northern Ireland. When he calls a composition Sometimes It Rains, you know he has seen plenty of precipitation. His composition does have the feeling of a soft, gentle rain combined with sliding violin tones that give it a slightly Far Eastern feeling. Later in the piece there is a tremolo bass, perhaps indicative of thunder. His String Factory is longer and contains a huge variety of percussion sounds. For that reason, his computer and violin combination is quite different from most; it really sets him apart. His sound palette seems to encompass everything from birdcalls to subway trains and the sounds of video games.

Vassiliev’s Story 1 starts with a sharp stroke of percussion and little floating chips of tone that evolve into a melodic line that tells a story you have to make up yourself. Perhaps it’s a love story, but there is conflict in the middle and perhaps a chase. It ends very peacefully, but you have to decide what happened. In any case, it is an exquisitely well-played piece that holds your attention. Game Over tells of the machine’s victory over the more natural forces. With victory comes the familiar video game phrase that tells the player it’s time to start anew. In this charming work, Vassiliev weaves the melodic lines of the instruments around each other so that they make a fascinating web of sound.

Raikhelson’s Criptophonic Piece is less accessible, less inviting, but perhaps more intellectual with its rough bowings and individually focused blocks of sound. Buevsky’s Largo Recitare has a classical name and starts out like a traditional violin piece. Then, the computer enters and we know we are in the 21st century. Buevsky has given us a poetic key to his work that speaks of death and transfiguration as the soul breaks forth into the universe. In his music you hear the tones of the remote star that sends out rays of eternal love. These pieces were recorded at The Russian Academy of Music, the Belfast Musicians’ Collective, and at Raikhelson’s home studio, so the pieces differ in engineering and ambience, but the quality is good.

FANFARE: Maria Nockin
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Works on This Recording

Sometimes It Rains by Ed Bennett
Performer:  Roman Mints (Violin)
Story 1 by Artem Vassiliev
Performer:  Roman Mints (Violin)
Criptophonic Piece by Alexander Raikhelson
Performer:  Roman Mints (Violin)
String Factory by Ed Bennett
Performer:  Roman Mints (Violin)
Largo Recitare by Taras Buevsky
Performer:  Roman Mints (Violin)
Game Over by Artem Vassiliev
Performer:  Roman Mints (Violin)

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