AVANT Issue 15 Spring 2000

Love and intuition never find their full equivalence on earth

Quiet but piercing, ever introvert but achingly full of expression - the sound of Vyacheslav Gayvoronskys trumpet is one of the most prominent voices on the jazz and new music scene in Russia today.

A graduate from the Leningrad Conservatory, he had been posted in Kemerovo (Siberia) to play in the orchestra of the local musical theatre: - the downside of Soviet free tuition Provincial life was dull, and, to stop himself from stagnating, he spent his spare time at the Kemerovo Medical College, gaining a diploma in surgery.

It took him a while before he found a proper partner to play with. On top of perfect technical prowess, fluency in reading music, musical erudition and impeccable taste, the aspiring candidate - and, incredible, but there were quite a few - first and foremost had to have selfless dedication to music. Therefore finding then 18 year old bass prodigy Vladimir Volkov who miraculously matched these impossible criteria seemed a genuinely lucky strike.

The unique partnership lasted nearly twenty years and yielded some remarkable fruits. The Leningrad Duo, as they became known later, won all possible awards at national festivals and polls, performed at festivals in Europe and the United States and, most remarkably, created a style of their own. They left a legacy of memorable few albums (unfortunately some, released years ago in Russia on vinyl are no longer available in either form) with Gayvoronskys compositions. It was with this duo that Gayvoronsky gained his national and international reputation.

Along with strictly original pieces many of his compositions are based on great music of the past. But they always are strikingly original, innovative and unorthodox, at times reverent, at times sardonic, renditions of widest variety of musical sources: Indian ragas, J.S.Bach, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Astor Piazzola or perhaps the wildest of these sources - Yankee Doodle, the simplest ditty which got developed into an extraordinary suite of contrasting miniature treatments. Most striking are his Russian Songs. Unlike most world music or ethnic jazz this work is not based upon any particular songs, but is an original conceptual work where the ever-evasive idea of Russianness is brought forward through the subtle allegations to traditional music.

When since the mid-90s the celebrated Gayvoronsky-Volkov Duo was slowly but surely demising the composer started a septet with younger musicians most of whom were his students at the experimental course at the Film, Music and Theatre Academy in St.Petersburg. The septet was a somewhat loose formation occasionally growing to eight, nine or ten piece band, at worse times shrinking to a quintet. The main idea was to get into more classical pieces - something Gayvoronsky had always been haunted with. Even at the time of the duo with Volkov he came up with a Mozart Quartet where the duo were playing along with a Glenn Could recording of a Mozart piano sonata.

The experimental course which Gayvoronsky taught is no longer there, gone is the septet. What survived is yet another duo - the tightest and the most intimate musical partnership, this time with a young accordionist Evelyn Petrova, one of his former students and the septet/quintet members.

Gayvoronsky has a remarkable solo album, which came as a result of his most

        painful and cherished love/hate/friendship with Sergey Kuryokhin. After

        working together for many years they fell apart with bitter resentment,

        which seemed irrevocable. Shortly before his death, the pianist, who had

        immeasurably more clout in the business side of the music and still

        unbeknownst of his illness and imminent death, offered Gayvoronsky studio

        time, his production and subsequent release of the solo trumpet album.

        Now he is in a duo again. Evelina Petrova, still a student at the


        Conservatory and still very young, prior to working with Gayvoronsky had

        virtually no jazz or improvised music experience. Again, as in the duo with Volkov, Gayvoronsky is the indisputable leader, composer and generator of the ideas. And again he is more than generous in letting the other partner fully express herself as a confidant and mature

        instrumentalist. Chonyi for Two, the duos first recording, sparkles with

        vast variety of moods: from idyllic jumble of The Pastoral to monotonous

        industrial rhythm of The Assembly Shop, to introspective smoothness of The

        Ballad; indulgent, almost hysteric joyfulness of Sit-around Gatherings with

        obvious quotations from Chastushki, sardonic Russian folk ditties.


        Yha was awarded with the Special Composition Prize at the 5th


        Astor Piazzola Competition Italian city Castelfidardo, where in October


        the duo had their very successful international debut.


In Gayvoronsky own words: Eventually experience leads you to one simple

truth: music is a single,

        unified entity. You can call it folk, jazz, classical whatever but these are

        just conventions. Its a code that we have to decipher, composers and

        listeners alike, and in the final instance we all come to the same place.


Alex Kan.London. BBC.


The blend of GAYVORONSKY trumpet and PETROVA's accordion create a highly original, mystical sound which is entirely their own.
Leo Feigin. BBC. Radio.

The disc ("Chonyi Together") finds, Gayvoronsky evoking immense beauty... Taken as a whole, it is a luminous ember from a desolate land that has seen better times.
"CODA" London.

Eventually experience leads you to one simple truth : music is a single, unified entity. You can call it folk, jazz, classical - whatever, but these are just conventions. It's a code that we have to decipher, composers and listeners alike, and in the final instance we all come to the same place.
Alex Khan. "AVANT"2000



Of course, one need not to be an AFRO-AMERICAN derivative to ... the structures, strategies, and freedom of jazz. The particularly provocative small unit - the duo of trumpeter SLAVA GAYVORONSKY with bassist VLADIMIR VOLKOV - delved deeply into themselves for motives and vocabularies. They emerge with music based on personal and social experience, generated by the same faith in spontaneous, self-aware utterance and life's vital pulse that gave rise to the earliest and sustains the newest jazz.
Howard Mandel in

GAYVORONSKY - VOLKOV DUO became one of the discoveries of the avant-garde jazz festival SOVIET AVANT-GARDE in Zurich in June 1989.
Leo Feigin, Jazz Programme, BBC Radio

The bassist Vladimir Volkov, an extraordinary musician full of inventiveness and irony, and the trumpeter Vyacheslav Gayvoronsky, a profound and subtle soloist, are one of the most original groups in the USSR.
Riccardo Bergerone in " Rockerella"

The formal compositions in the overwhelming performance of GAYVORONSKY - VOLKOV DUO were enriched by the elements of classical music and Russian folk-lore.
"Neue Zuricherzeitung", Zurich

Unique, two of the most respectful musiciants in the Soviet Union, a fortunate pairing up. This duo, one of the most Russian of the "Document's" offerings in that very sustain a rich tradition (Scriabin, Prokofiev, Schostakovich, perhaps) of technical virtuousity converted to pure feeling.
William Minor in Jazz Podium 91.

Gayvoronsky and Volkov proved themselves as highly filigree and extremely sensible art duo. Both are convincingly excellent in setting roughly shadowed, tense and juxtaposed against each other soundworlds.
Huns Kumpf in Jazz Podium.
Review of the performance at Salzburg Festivals.

Gayvoronsky is a Master of Trumpet. We can speak about classical trumpet, jazz trumpet, Devis'trumpet, and about Gayvoronsky 's trumpet too. He has his own recognizable sound. Trumpet finds a new life in his lips and hands - is cries, moans, groans, rattles, creaks and also sings and talks. Gayvoronsky's sonoristic is many respects is similar to sonoristic of pre-music : ancient, traditional music, even folk-lore...
Nick. Dmitriev. Moskow. Longarms.

It is "the music for the musicians", still it is the music that not only exists in today's present cultural space, which is, in fact, important by itself, but the music that creates the music and the listener of tomorrow.
Jazz festival in Arkhangelsk-95.





This document maintained by Material Copyright 2001 Valery Rozo


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