Slava Grigoryan has enjoyed a great deal of airplay in Australia in recent months – and with good reason. At the end of 2018, he won an ARIA for Best Classical Album; adding to a vastly impressive collection of wins and more than 20 nominations he and his brother Leonard share. Leonard joins with Slava in this new release of a selection of JS Bach arrangements.
Bach Concertos opens with a heavy mixing of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, BWV1043, arranged in A Minor by Edward Grigoryan. Guitar finally has its starring moment after a reasonably paced introduction. The soloists seem to sink into the orchestra, and I’d have liked to hear more of the stand-out duo when it comes to balance and texture.
The Concerto for Keyboard in D Minor, BWV1052 certainly indulges this. The Adagio offers space to appreciate the subtleties in expressivity, as well as the immaculate coming together of guitar with orchestra; under the skilful baton of Benjamin Northey, no less.
The Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C Minor, BWV1060R forces us to dive back in with a strong rhythmic drive (albeit at a sensible tempo). The pleasant but unsentimental Arioso from Cantata, BWV156 allows us to appreciate the guitar without other instruments stealing any part of the show. Listen to this album, but do adjust your speakers depending on your device.
Performer: Slava & Leonard Grigoryan g, Adelaide SO/Benjamin Northey
Catalogue Number: ABC Classics 4816926