Russian Favourites by ANALEKTA - CD Review


“Russian Favourites”

Alexander Sevastian

ANALEKTA– Canada, 2011.
February 2011

RUSSIAN FAVOURITES

Alexander Sevastian, born 1976 in Belarus, is the four-time first prize winner of international accordion competitions including the prestigious Coupe Mondiale in 2007 in Washington, DC. Prior to that success, Mr. Sevastian was known as an active recitalist and chamber musician. After finishing music schools in Belarus and France, he graduated from the Gnessin Academy in Moscow, Russia (the studio of famous accordion professor Friedrich Lips) and became a soloist of the Russian Folk Instrument Orchestra where his professional career began and he mastered the depth and beauty of Russian music.

After moving to Canada in 2001, Sevastian completed an advanced certificate in performance (studio of professor Joseph Macerollo) and joined Quartetto Gelato. His professional performances have taken him to many different countries throughout the world and he has appeared as soloist with many symphony orchestras in some of the very most famous concert halls.

This newly released solo recording was made in February, 2011, and shows the growing artistry and maturity of Alexander Sevastian who is well on his way to becoming a favorite artist of accordionists all over the globe. The notes on his accomplishments and the repertoire on this CD are very well written and comprehensive.

It is always a joy to hear an exciting young musician become even more so and Mr. Sevastian indeed is growing in his abilities to inspire, entertain, and enlighten his listeners, whether in person or through his recordings. This particular solo CD exhibits his abilities to form exquisite phrases as well as to show the exact amount of restraint when needed. His fine control of the bellows is noticeable throughout the repertoire, perhaps even more so in the mastery of the many required extended phrases so well executed! There are admirable dynamics, too, as heard in the finely-shaped contrasts delineated in Zolotaryov’s Evening Prelude and Mysterious Visions of the Chamber Suite, along with the huge dynamic buildups in the Panitsky Snowball Tree. The rhythmic interplay between hands is perfect, particularly in The Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks, perhaps, but always evident

There is so much to enjoy in listening to this recording. Each of the chosen pieces, whether originally written for the accordion or as arranged by Alexander Sevastian, offers beautiful melodies, exciting rhythms, and a wide spectrum of welcome textures performed seemingly effortlessly by the artist. The instrument used by Mr. Sevastian is the Russian Jupiter and its well-known timbre is captured faithfully, exhibiting some of the finest sounds available on the instrument. I recommend RUSSIAN FAVOURITES by Alexander Sevastian to everyone. It is extremely well performed music by a fine musician, who happens to be an accordionist. I feel sure that you will like it.

Reviewed by Joan Cochran Sommers ... October 2011.
The CD, AN 2 9929, is produced by ANALEKTA in Canada.

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