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
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more