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Title: Russian Performing School (Historical Recordings)
Artists: Viktor Gridin
Supplied by: Anatoly Mamalyga (USA)
Review date: 12th December 1997
Tracks: "Vesoly Horovod" (Russian folk song)
"Rassipuha" (Russian folk song)
"Utushka Lugovaja" (Russian folk song)
Danube Waves
Ruminian Dance
"Ehal Kozak za Dunaj" (Russian folk song)
Karelo-Finnland Polka
Iskristij Zvezdopad
Na beregu lazurnogo zaliva
Na arene
Garmonist ulibaetsa

For more than three decades the skill of one of the brightest masters of Russian bayan music, Viktor Gridin (1943-1997) has brought joy to numerous admirers of this genre in Russia. After he graduated from the Gnessin Institute of Arts in Moscow (now Russian Gnessin Academy of Music), Gridin's music orientation become Russian Folk and general variety music. He was a member of the Variety Symphony Orchestra of All-Union Radio and Television and the Aleksandrov Ensemble of Song and Dance of the Soviet Army, but his mastery reached its true potential during his work with the State Russian Folk Ensemble.

Wow! What an accordionist! In so many aspects Gridin's performance is brilliant. Technically, the entire complicated texture is performed lightly and easily at maximum speed. It is truly hard to find a comparison to this phenomenal double-note technique. It is virtuosity of the highest class!

Musically, Gridin's performance is very emotional and heart-warming. There is an unusual cheerfulness, an intimate lyricism and humor.

New colors are found in the performances by both him as a soloist and when he is accompanied by the Ensemble of Electric Musical Instruments. The variety of compositions are marked by refined harmony, flexible syncopated rhythms and diverse sound colorings. The performance is elegant and subtle, with real understanding of each style.

Viktor Gridin is a true poet of the accordion!

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