An Italian Love Affair
Moscow Composers Orchestra with Sainkho Namtchylak
There are many heroes in the most recent history of Russian new improvised and contemporary music. It is their activity which has enriched people's lives during troubled times and helped musical information to filter through for those audiences that were eageryl awaiting it. Advocates and organisers such as Nick Dmitriev, Dmitri Ukhov, Vladimir Rezitsky or Leo Feigin, to name a few, have kept alive a music scene that could otherwise have died a simple death.
But alongside heroes there are also villains, and in the case of the Moscoe Composers Orchestra (MCO), however, they take on a range of different forms. Instead of the deliberate sabotage by the authorities during concerts as was the case before the demise of the Soviet Union, new obstacles have emerged that provide the entertainment.
Lithuanian coaches, Byelorussian border guards, Polish snack shops, Italian airports and visa consulates in Moscow are all enemies of the MCO. Overpowering these villains is absolutely necessary for the orchestra to continue breathing in an ever changing contemporary music environment.
One reason for the orchestra's survival through periods of experimentation and extermination must be the continuing popularity of big band jazz in Russia and its neighbouring republics. Some areas of Russia boast several orchestras emerging from one small town. Yaroslavl, for example, claims four currently active big bands. The music they play, however, is somewhat limited to Glen Miller and Duke Ellington tunes. It is not surprising then that ground-breaking projects like Sergey Kuryokhin's Pop Mechanics or Vladimir Tarasov and Vladimir Chekasin's Baltic Contemporary Orchestras have been so successful. The music of the MCO can be seen both as a reaction to and continuation of this big band tradition.
During it's relatively short history the MCO has performed to celebrate many events including the patiently awaited sighting of Haley's comet. Yet the most concentrated efforts of the orchestra culminated in two European tours in 1994 and 1995 and three recordings, the third one being the CD you are holding in your hands.
The origin of the orchestra's members covers a huge territorial expanse from extreme corners of Eastern Europe; from as far south as Baku to as far north of Arkhangelsk; and in between: Tuva, St. Petersburg, Vologda, Smolensk, Vilnius and Moscow. So why call it Moscow Composers Orchestra? I leave that to one of the heroes to decide.
Moscow Composers Orchestra:
Vladimir Miller - piano, leader
Sainkho Namtchylak - voice
Yuri Parfyonov - trumpet
Vyacheslav Guyvoronski - trumpet
Vytatutas Pilibavicius - trombone, ragas
Oleg Ruvinov - tuba
Eduard Sivkov - baritone & alto saxes, bass clarinet
Vladimir Rezitski - alto sax, flute
Yuri Yeremchuk - soprano & tenor saxes, clarinet
Alexander Alexandrov - bassoon
Aleks Kolkowski - violin, electronics
Vladimir Volkow - bass
Mikhail Zhukov - percussion
Vladimir Tarasov - drums
Nick Dmitriev - manager
An Italian Love Affair
Music by Vladimir Miller
published by Alissa Publishing / PRS
© & ® Leo Records
LEO LAB CD 019
Information and booking by Nikolai Dmitriev, or by E-Mail directly to Moscow
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