Songs Without Words

The Grigoryan Brothers

Songs Without Words
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Songs Without Words

The Grigoryan Brothers

“We’ve always been drawn to music with great melodies and interesting harmonic progressions. As guitarists we want to ‘sing' as much as possible when playing.”

Globally renowned for their superlative musicianship, Slava and Leonard Grigoryan have decided to get personal for their latest album. Performing arrangements made by their father Edward, the brothers have chosen songs that are particularly close to their heart, and as well as a few new discoveries - including timeless songs by Tchaikovsky (Chanson Triste, None But the Lonely Heart), Rachmaninoff (Vocalise), Elgar (Chanson de Nuit, Chanson de Matin), Bach, Ponce, Fauré and others.

The Grigoryan Brothers, individually and as a duo, are counted amongst the finest musicians of their generation. Between them, they have clocked up an incredible 21 ARIA Award nominations and their recording and performing careers - and popularity - continue to flourish.

Slava recently broke the record for the longest stretch at number one in the Classical Charts for an Australian artist, when his latest solo album Bach Cello Suites Volume I spent 13 weeks at the top.

Reflecting on their musical relationship with their father, Slava and Leonard comment: “He has developed a unique style of writing and arranging for two guitars - always democratic, extraordinarily detailed and with complete awareness of what we as individual players can, and cannot do. We’re so lucky to have this inspiring collaborator and mentor working as prolifically as he does!”

During their careers, the Grigoryans have developed a reputation for enthralling audiences with the sheer energy of their performances, and the breadth of their repertoire - from classical to jazz and world music. In addition to a global touring schedule, their collaborations at home include performances with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and baritone José Carbó, and in 2017 they will support Grammy Award-winning Canadian singer k.d. lang’s Ingenue Redux tour.

Review

If you say the words ‘Grigoryan brothers’ to most classical music fans, they’ll smile and nod knowingly. Renowned for their musicianship since they were teenagers, they’ve released five albums together: pretty much all of them have been nominated for awards. They’re played all the time on ABC Classic FM, and in people’s homes around the world. Slava Grigoryan’s most recent album featured beautiful arrangements of the Bach Cello Suites that I still listen to, these many months later.

On the brothers’ latest collaboration they pay homage to their first teacher, mentor and father, Edward Grigoryan, by performing his arrangements of their favourite works. Edward Grigoryan was the one who started his sons’ love of all things guitar and has helped guide both brothers on their superstar path.

Keeping in mind each brother’s style, you can tell these arrangements were lovingly crafted for each specific performer. Gentle and delightful, this collection of famous works is the perfect wind-down music. With names like ‘Morning Song’, ‘Night Song’, ‘Sad Song’ and ‘After a Dream’, and composers like Tchaikovsky, Elgar, Falla and Faure, you get the sense that this album will be delightful – and exactly what you need at the close of a long day of modern hectic life.


Kate Rockstrom is a friend of Readings.

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