Exposé Online banner

Khatsaturjan — Disconcerto Grosso
(Musea FGBG 4843, 2010, CD)

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

Disconcerto Grosso Cover art

Named after the famous Soviet composer (spelling may vary), this Finnish progressive quartet exudes classical ambition carried by formidable chops that many prog bands can only dream about. It’s the usual guitar-keyboard-bass-drums lineup, yet the guitarist and drummer also play keyboards, the principle keyboardist also plays cello, and everyone sings. Sometimes they trade verses just as their instruments trade solos. Sometimes their harmonies create the same effect (not sound) as Yes – peculiar individual voices merging in an oddly satisfying whole, whether on the church choir ending of “Dusk” or the Slavic circus choral punch on “A Rhyme of a Dime.” English lyrics deal with pompous, gothic, dramatic, obscure subjects, dense verbiage, and forced rhymes filtered through non-Anglophone thinking with sometimes surprising results. Khatsaturjan subscribes to the prog strategy of cramming musical ideas into extended suites, to varying effectiveness. Take the album’s two opuses. “Herculean” contains enough material for a half dozen songs, all slotted together in jarring transitions. Pastoral piano trio, angular guitar metal, walking-bass swing, synth solo piercing thick organ surface – these sections are grouped by a sense of operatic dialog rather than songwriting cohesion. Conversely, “The Tunnel” seems to have been written by a single pianist, the tempo and style shifts flowing more smoothly, often with stronger melodic development. Disconcerto Grosso ends with “Travels Led by Chance,” samba-flavored acoustic guitar, hand percussion and violin keeping it light and breezy even when the full band joins in, cleansing the palate after a heavy meal.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Khatsaturjan

Latest news

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

House of Not - The Walkabout Parts 1 & 2 – The brainchild of Brian Erikson (vocals and lyrics), House of Not appears to be some sort of concept project, with Lou Roppoli and Ken O’Gorman providing guitars and a host of guests on other...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues