The Seasons (Tchaikowsky)

Grigoryan Brothers
Which Way Music, Sing Sing Recording Studios, WWM 104
Reviewed by , June 1st, 2014

Here in the bottom half of the world we have to switch hemispheres to even start getting on song with Slava and Leonard Grigoryan as they play father Edward’s skilful arrangement of The Seasons, originally written for piano by Tchaikovsky.

Twelve short, punchy pieces, one for each month, each with a little poem attached, track the year from January to December.

Leonard and Slave Grigoryan

Leonard and Slave Grigoryan

Russian weather, of course, and customs. No matter. Each item has its own charm, almost regardless of the context, and can be enjoyed on its own merits.

Piano to two guitars is but a short sonal (yes, I made it up, but why not, when it is needed?)
step. Plucked strings can paint pictures as effectively as hammered strings, and pianists among our readers will appreciate the wistful drift of the falling autumn leaves in October.

Tally-ho is not, apparently, exclusive to the English in hunting pink. Russians lay claim to it too and the Brothers do a more than passable imitation when they will a-hunting go in September – with borzois, says the poet Pushkin.

In theTroika, wrapped in fur from head to toes, ears well muffed, translates particularly well. High-stepping ponies trot elegantly through the snow with just a tinge of sadness lurking.

The Grigoryans played The Seasons live in the Dunstan Playhouse, not the most felicitous acoustic for them, in the Adelaide International Guitar Festival in 2011.

Hearing them on this thandsomely presented CD was much, much more fun.

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