Songs without Words

 

Slava Grigoryan & Leonard Grigoryan (guitars)

ABC Classics CD 481 5101

TPT: 53’ 34”

reviewed by Neville Cohn

 

Grigoryan Brothers - Songs Without WordsIf ever you’ve come home after a really tough day at the office, perhaps an accidental wiping of a crucial report that cannot be retrieved and/or encountering a maddening traffic jam on the way home – what might one do?.

 

A few soothing gins and tonic or something a bit stronger might be just what’s needed to soothe frazzled nerves – but there’s another, frankly better,  way to chill out (without any risk at all of a hangover): put the Grigoryan brothers’ newest CD on – and relax to a joint effort that’ll work its magic in mere moments.

 

Seventeen tracks enshrine some of the world’s most loved melodies.

 

Take your pick: Rachmaninov’s Vocalise, Elgar’s Chanson de matin (a charmladen delight) and a Seguidilla, the bracing urgency of which rivets the attention. It’s from

an arrangement for two guitars of the full set of de Falla’s Seven Spanish Folk Songs.

 

I particularly like the gently lulling quality of Nana which, Falla has pointed out, was a song his mother used to sing to him when very young.  These delights are given near-flawless treatment, not least the first of the set: The Moorish Cloth. It’s beautifully negotiated with its crisp rhythmic underpinning. There’s a lively, lovely account of the Jota, its rhythms irresistible – and the Cancion is finely considered.  The very challenging Polo needs a greater sense of urgency, though.

 

The brothers’ account of Tchaikowsky’s None but the Lonely Heart would surely charm even the grumpiest bird from a twig – and there’s an exquisitely languid account of Ponce’s Little Star.

 

There are sure to be tracks which listeners will happily play over and over  – and over – again. Don’t take my word for it. Get yourself a copy – and feel those nerve knots relaxing.

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