Exposé Online banner

Aviva — Peer Gynt in Favour
(Musea FGBG 4855, 2010, CD)

by Alan K. Lipton, Published 2011-06-01

Peer Gynt in Favour Cover art

It’s a shock to hear music you've known all your life bent in new directions for new purposes. I still remember envisioning how my four-year-old self would have wept at The Residents’ deconstruction of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” It's that same feeling with this reboot of Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite. It’s the third album by Aviva, a.k.a. Russian multi-instrumentalist Dmitri A. Loukanienko, with a few uncredited guests, and these are new interpretations of familiar themes from Grieg’s 1875 opus. Some, like the universally recognized “Peer Gynt’s Morning,” involve cut and paste remixes of original orchestral recordings or, as on “Ingrid,” the florid piano of a modern interpreter like Gian Piero Reverberi. “Skalds’ Hymn” is a short electronic tone poem capturing the mysteries of ancient Norse legends. Progressive rock arrangements feed a 70s sound into a millennial mash-up on “Mountain King and His Daughter,” which sounds like Mannheim Steamroller offroading through a boreal landscape with Groupa, Hoven Droven, and other heavy Nordic roots bands. “Anitra” becomes a synthed up Eurodisco nightmare via Art of Noise. “Ese” is the clearest display of Loukanienko’s M.O.: adapt a classical theme for prog band a la Emerson, Wakeman, and other keyboard rebels, then tear it all apart in a delighted tantrum of dissonance and anti-structure. The final track, “In Favour,” feels like an apology for all these pranks, a gently building piece with a Windham Hill jazz flavor, something that might soothe the jangled nerves of Grieg and those who love him.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Aviva / Aviva Omnibus

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Amarok - Sol de Medianoche – Over numerous releases now, Amarok has essentially created their own musical world, somewhere between the Mediterranean-Arabic folk music axis, the medieval sounds that might have been associated with...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues