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SoLyd Records 2016

  • Lyrics and music - Vladimir Vysotsky
  • Idea - Vladimir Kruglov
  • Producer and arranger - Alexey Kruglov
  • Krugly Band:

  • Alexey Kruglov - alto and soprano saxes, voice, piano
  • Vladimir Kruglov - voice, acoustic guitar, piano
  • Denis Shushkov - double bass, voice
  • Peter Ivshin - drums, percussion, piano, voice
  • Live in Ekaterinburg
  • Produced by Andrey Gavrilov, Alexey Kruglov

Our ensemble, called the "Krugly Band," was created in 1999. During the 17 years of the history of the group it was possible to achieve a great deal. The repertoire has two directions. On the one hand, there ismusic in the vein of contemporary jazz played by various ensembles (from a trio to an entire orchestra). We have carried out projects with the music of Yuri Markin, Vladimir Tarasov, Arkady Shilkloper, Vladimir Miller, Yuri Parfyonov and Jaak Sooaar and performed compositions written by members of the ensemble. The other sphere of our activities is the joint literary-musical direction, playing a special role in the programs of the "Krugly Band," the idea of which consists in the creation of an artistic space where sound and the spoken word form one line in the sphere of poetry and music. We have set up musical-theatrical performances with musical setings to the poetry and literary materials of Vasily Trediakovsky, Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Sergei Yesenin, Alexander Blok, Velemir Khlebnikov, Dmitri Prigov, Victor Tsoi and to my own poems and palindromes.
One especially important project for us has been a performance set to the texts and music of Vladimir Vysotsky "Look..or Four Quarters of the Way." It presents a narrative of the life and work of this outstanding person, thinker, philosopher and poet. Each quarter discloses the poet's artistic ideas, featuring an ongoing development of the subject, starting from the early poems and songs and ending with the later philosophical ones. In a parallel development certain fragments from the history of Russia are touched upon. The idea of a simultaneous exlporation of musical sound and the spoken word is brought to life in full measure. Vysotsky was not only an ingenious poet and actor, but an incredible composer. His music, arranged in the style of contemporary jazz, is reflected in our project in a new manner, in conjunction with poetry and songs accompanied by guitar, refering to the image of Vysotsky himself.
To a certain degree this performance presents a work of musical theater. Of course the traditional theater genre is also dear to us. For example, the "Krugly Band" may be heard and seen in a performance at the Mayakovsky Theater "The Caucasian Chalk Circle" ("Der kaukasische Kreidekreis"). I am happy to have been able to collaborate with such directors as Dmitri Krymov, Boris Yukhananov and Boris Milgramm. At the same time I also had the fortunate occasion of participating in the sphere of musical recitation together with poet Andrei Voznesensky. Cooperation with such different and outstanding personalities has been invaluable, while both respective directions - the theatrical in its diversity and that of connecting recitation and music (when poems are read to a certain musical accompaniment) - have been very important to us. However, in our performances we decided to depart from identifying or specifying the respective genres. For example, our performance "Look..." is neither a theatrical show, nor a musial concert, nor a poetry reading, but rather a literary-musical symbiosis with a compositional structure clearly outlined in its dramaturgy, involving elements of metaphors, references and parallels.
Special words of gratitude must be said to our promoter, Alexander Zhemchuzhnikov, to all those who recorded our performance and created this DVD, and to all those who took part in the organization of the Ekaterinburg part of the Leo Records festival, in which we performed "Look..or Four Quarters of the Way"! Our great respect to the wonderful audience of the Urals for its warm unforgetable reception and extraordinary atmosphere in the comfortable Centre of Culture "Ural" during that wonderful autumn October evening! We wish you a pleasant watch and listen of our performance dedicated to one of the great people of the 20th century - Vladimir Vysotsky!
Alexey Kruglov, translated by Anton Rovner


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