1 Nuclear sax 7:19
2 Husband`s Wrath 7:29
3 Fanzi dance 6:59
4 Monologue 7:16
5 Saxlibris 7:38
6 Silhouettes 7:34
7 Saxocracy 9:21
8 Ikigai 8:24
9 Looking back 9:38
10 Your Words (this song is not on CD, it is available for free download in the attachment card and is also in all downloads)
Author of the music: Evgeny Irshai
Frederika Vávrovičová - alto saxophone
Ladislav Fanzowitz - baritone saxophone, piano
Pavol Hoďa - alto saxophone, soprano saxophone
Ján Gašpárek - tenor saxophone
Evgeny Irshai - piano 5, 10
Lev Pupis - alto saxophone 1, soprano saxophone 6, 8
The new opus by the Slovak composer of the Russian origin – Evgeni Irshai – was given an eloquent title: Nuclear Sax. It contains ten compositions - ten short stories, pictures or musical metaphors coloured in all the hues of saxophone timbre. All compositions, as Irshai explains, were inspired by an exceptionally versatile musician Ladislav Fanzowitz, Irshai`s friend of many years.
Each of the ten compositions was written concisely (each lasting from seven to eight minutes), corresponding with its title and mood. The way the CD was arranged is well thought through, very fresh and overall attractive. It carries the name of the first composition, which gives it rather symbolic value. One will, of course, understand the word nucleus as a core, the beginning or the fundamental essence of energy; expectation of successions, effects, consequences… It is truly a verbal code of the musical process and of the structure that was precisely given by the mini-intervals – patterns rich in asymmetry of the clearly expressed form. The timbre of two saxophones is impressively interlinked then draws apart and identifies with each other. Saxlibris is following very similar pattern, using the timbre of tenor and baritone saxophone and piano resulting in kinetic charge, laconic motives and eloquent harmony.
The inspiration for the next composition comes from Irshai`s colleague-composer Janka Kmiťová. In Tvoje slová (Your Words1) saxophone and piano communicate in an epic, mostly ethereal conversation, or sometimes monologue, which rather nostalgically carries over the obsessional figuration in piano. What an image!
Irshai`s forte lies in the fact that he still remains the playful, original “boy” and possesses superb wit. The duet of piano and tenor saxophone in Husband`s Wrath, recounts the picturesque situations that probably cannot be avoided in any relationship. Almost ironic humour on one side and lyrical placability on the other create two counter poles that can be variably, quite magically worked with; the way Stravinsky or Shostakovich could do it and just like it is now coded in Irshai`s aesthetics. Silhouettes for two saxophones, is a clever anecdote resulting in tango and is in its mood rather similar to the quartet piece.
Fanzi Danzi serves as a portrait – homage to L. Fanzowitz – an indefatigable, original and “kinetic” musician. The piece is playful, contains sometimes even infantile, rhythmic – clapping motif, it is gentle in its cantilena and all this charmingly tasteful. Between two quartet pieces Saxocracy and Looking Back is placed a quintet (Saxophone Syncopators, with the exceptional Slovenian saxophonist Lev Pupis). In Ikigai (derived from the Japanese phenomenon concerning the purpose of being), author reached a little deeper into the philosophical and meditative zone creating an impressive mental “countermovement” to the elemental and comparatively light motifs of the preceding compositions. And then the “punch-line” – a solo for the initiator - the artist who is the moving spirit of this CD, Ladislav Fanzowitz. His enraptured solo in Monologue concludes the sequence of ten compositions – a set that will undoubtedly please, endow and entertain.
Recording location: Conservatory of music and ballet Ljubljana, Slovenia
Recording on 6-8 September 2019
Recorded in high definition format. (352.8 kHz / 32 bit)
Music Director & Conductor: Marian Lejava
Sound direction & technical support: Martin Pavlík, Rostislav Pavlík
Graphic design: Eva Turčáková
Notes: Lídia Dohnalová
Supported using public funding by Slovak Arts Council