For those unaware of Edward Artemiev, he is one of Russia’s premiere sonic explorers: a composer of film and TV music, a pioneer of electronic music and a musical theorist. “Connecting Spaces” is a double disc set of live recordings made during a recent concert tour of Siberia. Focusing on orchestral music he has written for the cinema, TV and theatre, there is still space incorporate some of his signature electronic sounds and music as well. The recordings are taken from concerts in Barnaul, Novosibirsk, Kemerovo, Tomsk and Omsk, all major cities in that huge area of Eastern Russia called Siberia. There are twenty five tracks spread across the two discs, with the music drawn from Mr. Artemiev’s film and stage work, and the music on each track varies between thirty seconds to eight minutes plus. Most of the music on this album is drawn from the following films: “Stalker”, “Solaris”, “A Slave of Love”, “Burnt by the Sun”, “The Barber of Siberia”, the TV version of “Doctor Zhivago”, “The Odyssey”. Edited as near continuous performances, these individual pieces become almost symphonic in scope and atmosphere, and thanks to the orchestral colourings become new music. Each of the listed cities provided their own symphony orchestras for the concerts, and these were all conducted by Cezar Alvarez. This album set is for the Russian market only so consequently the inlay booklet and back panel are in Russian - therefore I am not sure if Edward Artemiev performed as a soloist during the performances or simply directed the rehearsals before the concerts. Either way, “Connecting Spaces” is a wonderful introduction to the orchestral music of one of Russia’s best contemporary composers. And it is interesting to note that Hollywood doesn’t have all the best soundtrack magicians. It will be a great shame if this music is not released outside Russia as well, it deserves a wider audience. Highly recommended!!!!!
John M. Peters (“The Borderland”)