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 Gayvoronskyís 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
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 Gayvoronskyís
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 ďexperimental courseĒ 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
Ďclassicalí 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 ďexperimental courseĒ 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 duoís 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
In Gayvoronsky own words: ď 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. Itís a code
that we have to decipher, composers and
listeners alike, and in the
final instance we all come to the same place.Ē
Alex Kan.London. BBC.
GAYVORONSKY - PETROVA DUO
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.
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
GAYVORONSKY - VOLKOV DUO.
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
"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
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,
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.