Edward Artemiev — Crime and Punishment
((Not on label) no#, 2007, 2CD)
by Pam Thompson, Published 2008-10-01
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.
Related artist(s): Edward Artemiev
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more