A Musical Journey

Thanks to our travels and concerts all over the world, we have been exposed to a variety of cultural and music experiences. Inspired by these innumerable stimulating intercultural encounters, we were driven by the desire to share our impressions and reflections with our audiences. Thus we decided to create a program that would express our fascination with the world’s vibrant diversity, the planet’s incredible colors and unbelievable contrasts. Referring to the origins of our inspiration, we initially called the program The World Map, renaming it later into Around the World to convey the idea of the world’s diversity without mapped borders – eliminating physical, historic, or stylistic distances. Designing the program, we chose four locations – Old England, Moldova, Russia, and Argentina – each represented by four compositions. (Referring to this structural concept, we also call the program “4×4”.) Old England is represented by an outstanding Renaissance lutenist John Dowland (1563-1626). Our interest to this music was motivated, among other things, by the collaboration between the rock-star Sting and our friend Bosnian lutenist Edin Karamazov who recorded the album Songs From The Labyrinth of Dowland’s songs (or “ayres”). This captivating crossover project has inspired us to interpret the Renaissance music with the cello and guitar sound. Moldova, in its turn, has captured our attention with its folk music. Boris remembers that since his very first visit to Moldova, he has fallen in love with this hospitable land and its music. By coincidence, Dimitri was born and for some time lived in the capital city of Moldova – Kishinev. Living in a house near a restaurant, every Saturday, he used to listen to Moldovan wedding folk songs and dances from across the street. The synthesis of our old memories and new fascinations resulted in our Moldovan Suite for cello and guitar. We are Russian musicians, so our interest to the Russian music is not surprising. We always perform this music with great pleasure and careful consideration. For our new program we choose a unique genre of the so-called Russian ‘town romance’ songs of the XIX century. In this we followed the impulse we got after the beautiful album Vocalise by Mischa Maisky and Pavel Gililov – a rendition interweaving the timbres of cello and piano. The guitar sound has also been crucial for the tradition, so in our own way, we also would like to pay tribute to this heartwarming genre. Four songs we play are like puzzle pieces connected in an intriguing story of love. Argentina is represented in our program by four masterpieces of “the king of tango” Astor Piazzolla. The famous bandoneonist himself used to involve cello and guitar in his musical interpretations and experiments. Including Piazzolla’s tangoes in our “music travelling”, we aspire to pay homage to both the world-favorite genre of the Argentinian tango as well as to its great reformer and popularizer. The interplay of guitar and cello creates an incredible atmosphere. That is why, from time to time putting aside our solo projects, we get together to play this charming chamber music. We eagerly perform original pieces as well as encourage composers to write new music for cello and guitar. However, the repertoire for such duets is still very limited. Therefore we based this program on our own arrangements and adaptations. We have performed this program many times in many countries. Eventually, after ten years since our first joint CD, we recorded our “World Map” in France. For this remarkable opportunity, we would like to thank the Festival Auvers-sur-Oise and personally Florence and Pascal Escande, as well as artistic manager Raymond Alessandrini, sound-engineer Roger Lenoir and our dear Alla Gouraud.