Tschaykovskiy on bayan and domra
Art-Contrast amazes in St. Johann Church in Dannenberg

The cultural community of Dannesberg organized an unusual night of chamber music in St. Johann Church. Playing historical instruments St. Petersburg sextet "Art-Contrast" performed musical pieces from classical up to our days. The young musicians are representatives of the famous Andreevskiy orchestra, which was founded 100 years ago and was the first one to perform Russian classical music on national folklore instruments. For example, bayan, predecessor of the button accordion, existed back 4500 years. Famous Russian instrument balalaika is on the contrary rather young. It is a descendant of Kirghiz -Kazakh domra in the 17th century. It is amazing what a wide range of sound can be derived from this three-stringed instrument.
Putting a piece by Arensky "Variations on the theme by Tschaykovsky" in the program ensemble under direction of professor Vyacheslav Glazunov met expectations of the audience willing to hear Russian music. Sadly and melodically balalaikas and domras made their sound interlacing, but bayan reigned supreme (Valera Shurigin). Next "Scherzo" by Skryabin filled the hall with happy desipiency inspired by fast staccato in the headnote, which was bearing upon rhythmical base of contrabass- balalaika (Ruslan Smolyar) and bass-domra (Anna Toporkova).
Again totally new atmosphere was inspired by "Islamey" by Balakirev. Interwining in a wild rhythm solo of a small domra (Ekatherina Shirokova), a little bigger alto domra (Svetlana Astrakova) and very tiny balalaika prima(Alexander Milyutin) speeded up, urged by typical Arab bouncy rhythm. The first classical part of the concert was concluded by several pieces from "Seasons" by Tschaykovskiy. And once again we were amazed by the transformation of the ensemble into a small orchestra, which interpreted both simple melodies and rich musical images of months "July", "August", "October" and "December" smoothly and with a deep full sound.
In compositions by Schedrin "Troyka" and "In style of Albenis" as well as in " Monastery of Feraponte" by Zolotaryov classecal musical traditions are still very strong, at the same time musical art of Zolotaryov allows us to speak about romanticism features in his musical style. Love sufferings of Bibergan let musicians open out and enjoy themselves playing, impressing the audience. Especially the audience was amazed by "Padischach" by Ablov. Transition from Arab colouring to jazz is gorgeous, they repeat it several times to finally make a Crescendo, which could be a rival to some rock-concert. In the following musical phrases images interwined and took each others places, even guitars, keyboard and percussion could be heard. Ensemble performed " Spanish fantasy" by Frolov, demonstrating one more side of remarkable musical possibilities of Russian folklore instruments, which are able to express dramatic sound of guitar playing flamenco and fiery motifs of Spanish songs.
Following the storm of applause "Song of Laura" from "Doctor Zhivago was repeated, making an unexpected impression after such a classical program. Probably such a contrast choice underlines and warrant the name of the ensemble - "Art-Contrast".

" Niedersächsisches daily newspaper",