Exposé Online banner

Edward Artemiev — Crime and Punishment
((Not on label) no#, 2007, 2CD)

by Pam Thompson, Published 2008-10-01

Crime and Punishment Cover art

Opera comes with all sorts of preconceptions: large women breaking glass with their voices, too much vibrato, bombastic music. Edward Artemiev's opera Crime and Punishment (based on the book by Dostoevsky) is none of those. This is modern opera that expands the parameters of the traditional opera into something new and approachable, with a style that appeals to a much wider audience. Artemiev combines styles with abandon, and the changing musical genres effectively propel the story and plot line. He uses traditional orchestra, Russian folk ensembles and rock band to convey the characters' moods and motivations – each is utilized to portray a different aspect of the story. Synthesizer figures prominently at times, which isn't surprising given the composer’s background as one of Russia's innovators in the field of electronic music. There are passages of lyric beauty, large choruses singing, gravelly vocals from the shadier characters, and although the libretto is in Russian, the emotion of the story comes through in the vocal stylings. The packaging is gorgeous — a digipac presentation with two booklets, one a libretto and one with notes and photos of those involved with the production (all in Russian). Crime and Punishment is a masterful work and a showcase of Artemiev's genius, with a fresh approach to a traditional musical form.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Edward Artemiev

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

John Surman - Way Back When – John Surman (saxes), John Marshall (drums), John Taylor (electric piano), Brian Odgers (bass guitar). For many readers, that list alone puts this on the must-have list. Throw in the recording date of...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues