Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Two reviews of Tom Arthurs and Richard Fairhurst's

Postcards From Pushkin (2012)

Financial Times
February 10, 2012 10:17 pm

Spacious, serene and slightly surreal, the album reverberates with a sense of time unfolding
Each of these delicate trumpet and piano vignettes is a response to a fragment of Pushkin’s poetry – relevant excerpts are included on the sleeve. Spacious, serene and slightly surreal, the album reverberates with a sense of time unfolding – the church acoustics of the St. Giles’ Cripplegate recording perfectly capture the mood. Trumpeter Tom Arthur’s brassy tone and wide intervals echo over Richard Fairhurst’s sparse, resonant piano, one excerpt “The trumpet solo has no poetry” features poetic solo trumpet and “The Judge” stark unaccompanied piano.

Tom Arthurs and Richard Fairhurst
Postcards from Pushkin

Published: February 2, 2012
 By Bruce Lindsay

Trumpeter Tom Arthurs wrote the music for Postcards From Pushkin in 2009, according to his liner notes, "in a moment of particular calm and reflection" when he was a BBC New Generation Artist. Inspired by the works of the Russian poet and author Alexandr Pushkin (1799-1837), Arthurs and his musical collaborator, pianist Richard Fairhurst (of The Hungry Ants and Triptych), recorded the album later that year. Arthur's warm, rich, flugelhorn sound and Fairhurst's delicate, understated, piano combine to create music that is both restrained and affecting. It reflects the romance of Pushkin's poems but also the underlying pathos and occasional darkness.
Arthurs and Fairhurst recorded Postcards From Pushkin in St Giles, Cripplegate, a medieval church within London's Barbican regularly used as a concert venue—its organ was featured on Rick Wakeman's The Six Wives Of Henry VIII (A&M, 1973). The building's acoustics are at the heart of the album's exceptionally clear and pure sound. Lydia Polzer's lovely photographs and cover design capture and reflect the quiet beauty of the music. Her artistry joins with Arthurs' and Fairhurst's musical creativity to ensure that Postcards From Pushkin is a visual, as well as an aural feast.(see website for full review).

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