Album: Moscow Art Trio, Village Variations, (Jaro)

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The Independent Culture

Music for an imaginary ballet by pianist Misha Alperin, performed by the trio and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra.

The theme is a medieval rural wedding, inspired partly by the films of Sergei Paradjanov, and partly by Alperin's experience playing in Moldavian wedding bands. There's an oddly appropriate sense of Aaron Copland-ish prairie hoedown to some of the sections, and while reed-warbler Sergey Starostin's bird-calls remain an aquired taste, the strings are thrilling.

Pick of the album: 'Introduction & Wine Variations': the guests get hammered