“Balalaika and Organ”
Balalaika and Organ – what do these two instruments have in common? Actually, nothing,
you might think. But the Russian balalaika in the hands of Alexander Paperny
overcomes all stereotypes. The musical program of this CD with the unusual combination
of balalaika and organ promises to be an exceptional sound experience!
His partner on the organ is Sergej Tcherepanov. With his hands and feet, he is able
to take up the brilliant playing of the balalaika and carry it onward, maintaining all the
while a well balanced sound.
What does this CD of „Russian Consort“ mean to us? It means an opportunity to preserve
the result of our musical friendship, of the emotional sparks of not-too-frequent
meetings, of the pleasure of listening. There’s adrenaline in this repertoire, but there is
also great respect for di_ erent musical styles: Baroque, Russian Folk Song, Argentinian
Tango and Brazilian Choro. There’s something here for everyone.
“The Night is Light” is a ravishing CD. The manifold, widespread repertoire of it – in its mood varying from serene to melancholy, in its interpretation masterly to sensitive – is sonorously performed by Alexander Paperny and Satoshi Oba. I am enraptured by the harmonizing teamwork of these two utterly talented musicians. I always knew that the guitar is at home in all musical stiles but with this excellent duo I have learnt that the balalaika reaches far beyond Russian folklore. And thank you so much for the beautiful recording of “Klangspuren”! Tilman Hübner
01. Fantasy “Fiddler on the Roof” (Jerry Bock) / 4:24
02. Slavonic Dance from “Rusalka” (Alexander Dargomyzhsky) / 4:24
03. Spanish Dance from “La vida breve” (Manuel de Falla) / 3:33
04. Bad Boy (Toru Takemitsu) / 3:03
05. Kokiriko (Teruyuki Noda) / 4:13
06. El Choclo (Angel Villoldo) / 2:53
07. Klangspuren (Tilman Hübner) / 8:52
08. Oblivion (Astor Piazzolla) / 3:10
09. Night Club 1960 (Astor Piazzolla) / 5:27
10. Sunayama (Kosaku Yamada) / 5:09
11. The People Accuse Me (Russian folk song) / 5:04
12. The Night is Light (Nicolai Shishkin) / 2:49
13. Mardjandja (Gipsy folk song) / 3:15
Dear friends of the balalaika!
Here you hold it in your hands, my latest CD, recorded – which means lived through and suffered through – over a period of time of more than ten years, in various studios in Moscow and Hamburg. Even though my musical partners are quite different I appreciate them equally high: in the relation between our instruments we developed – with no regards to priorities – a chamber music-like intimacy.
We recorded music for the balalaika solo as well as duos together with piano, guitar, and bajan. Compositions by Bach, Mozart and the Baroque era are deliberately contrasted with music with a “national” flavour from Argentina, Brazil, France, and Russia. What may seem a hotchpotch has to me an innate logic: every title on this CD represents music with a strong lyrical sentiment, it is the beautiful melody which counts.
Almost all of the compositions represented here were not originally written for the balalaika but have been adapted for it by Russian virtuosos of this instrument (P. Necheporenko, O. Gitlin, W. Zazhigin) or they have been selected, arranged and are played here for the first time by my guitar-partner Wladimir Fridman and me.
Only three pieces (A Girl Dreaming in the Evening, In the Little Wood, The Lost Ring) are original compositions for the balalaika of which Zaiger´s Fantasy has to be regarded as especially modern and demanding.
The history of balalaika dates back not much longer than one hundred years. Because of this the repertory for the instrument is rather limited compared to that for e.g. the piano or the violin. To this adds that the balalaika, the “folklore” instrument, has been discovered only comparatively recently for the concert hall and the “classical” repertory: the instrument was for a a long time technically too little developed for a masterly manner of playing.
I regard the balalaika as a very special contribution of Russia to our joint culture. To me it improves the sound of several of the traditional instruments decisively. In pieces wich were originally written for harpsichord the balalaika obtains a multitude of tints, lending softness and sensuality to the dry and fugitive sound of the harpsichord. And in the Choros and Bossa Novas of Brazil it enhances the effect of the cavaquinho and the bandalim, for only the balalaika excites specific emotions by that vibrato which other instruments do not have. Equally significant for the balalaika are the intoxicating rhythms of the Argentine tango and the French musette. And which other instrument is more than the balalaika the very image of the Russian soul? With this recording we want to prove the many aspects of this fascinating instrument.
My special thanks go to my friends and partners who accompanied and supported me over the years, in music and in life. Also my teachers Alexander Sushkov, Oleg Gitlin and Valeri Zazhigin as well as Marina Wulfson who played a dominant role in my musical development.
Was lange währt, wird endlich gut… Dear Listener! You are fortunate indeed. Fortunate, because you have a
pleasure of this music waiting for you. The music you are going to
discover is unique, and not only because of the unusual combination of
instruments, a balalaika, an accordion, and a bass.
But mainly because each of these instruments is being lovingly handled
by a true master. Alexander Paperny makes his balalaika sing with an
unexpectedly youthful voice. You can hear Natascha Böttcher’s feminine
soul in the sounds of her accordion. Andrei Stepanenko makes your
heart beat in beat with his music. You will not just hear your
favorite melodies. You will hear the unique voices of these wonderful
musicians blending together and raising the music to the new heights.
Their music is alive and breathing. Please listen carefully to it.
Die Balalaika ist die Seele des russischen Volkes – sagt Alexander Paperny und entführt uns zusammen mit Waldemar Gudi auf eine musikalische Reise um die halbe Welt. “A Piece of Sky” versucht, ein Lebensgefühl zu vermitteln: zwei Musiker fordern uns auf, sich mit ihnen von der Erde, dem Alltag zu lösen, um ein Stück weit hineinzuschweben in den Himmel, den Komponisten des Barock, der Romantik und der Gegenwart für uns ausgespannt haben. Die virtuosen Klangmöglichkeiten und die Fülle zweier Instrumente werden voll ausgeschöpft, um uns die Bildhaftigkeit eines Couperin oder das Sentiment eines Piazzolla neu und reizvoll hören zu lassen.
01. Russ.trad., Mädchens Abendträume | Bearb. A.Schalow A Piece of Sky
02. Russ.trad., In dem Wäldchen | Bearb. A.Schalow
03. P. Sarasate, Konzert-Phantasie Carmen von J. Bizet
04. K. Dacken, Der Kuckuck | Bearb. W. Zaschigin
05. F. Couperin, Die kleinen Windmühlen | Bearb. P. Netscheporenko
06. J. P. Rameau, Der Vogelruf | Bearb. J. Streschelinski
07. P. Netscheporenko, Variationen über ein Thema von Paganini
08. F. Chopin, Etüde f-moll | Bearb. P. Netscheporenko
09. S. Rachmaninow, Ital.Polka | Bearb. A. Iljuchin
10. A. Parzchaladse, Toccata | Bearb. W. Gudi
11. A. Piazzolla, Oblivion | Bearb. A. Paperny / W. Gudi
12. P. Pizzigoni, Licht und Schatten | Bearb. A. Paperny / W. Gudi
Wie unerwartet frisch klingt die Musik von Astor Piazzolla, dem genialen argentinischen König des Tango Nuevo, im Spiel der Gruppe “Jazz-Balalaika”! Diesen Musikern gelingt es, ihrem Publikum die Liebe zum “Neuen Tango” zu übertragen, eine Musik, die jeder professionelle Interpret geniesst, und in der die Gruppe “Jazz-Balalaika” tatsächlich ihr “Goldenes Repertoire” gefunden hat.
01. El Choclo / 1:51
02. Revirado / 2:15
03. El penultimo / 2:01
04. Leonora`s song / 3:34
05. Bailongo / 4:23
06. Biyaya / 4:23
07. Milonga del Angel / 5:07
08. Coral / 1:11
09. Fugata, Milonga / 5:32
10. Milonga picaresque / 1:33
11. Street tango / 3:56
12. La muerte del Angel / 2:53
13. Coral, final / 4:39
14. Oblivion / 3:26
15. Escualo / 4:36
16. A Intrusa / 1:39
17. Liber tango / 4:37