Vladimir and Anton: Live

review vlad and ant x1 cong

Slovakian brothers Vladimir and Anton Jablokov are ace violin players who’ve graduated from busking in Ireland, where they now live, to recording contracts. They take familiar pieces and re-do them with lots of energy and fancy playing. We wondered for a moment who’d buy this, before remembering André Rieu and the world-wide following he has. You could dismiss this as dumbing down the classics, but Rieu brings folk into the world of classical music, which can only be good.

Vladimir and Anton play energetic and lively music that’s easy to listen to, and mostly familiar, even if only from adverts and television shows. This CD was recorded live over three nights of sold-out performances at the Wexford Arts Centre and focuses on popular Russian classical music, Prokofiev, Rimsky-Korsakov and Shostakovich featuring, as well as more traditional tunes.

It opens with Cossacks Beyond The Danube, an excerpt from an opera about Cossacks living reluctantly under Ottoman rule, possibly used in Morecambe and Wise. Moscow Nights was recorded by Kenny Ball, while the Meadowlands was incorporated into a tune by the Waterboys. Those Were The Days is known as a Paul McCartney/Mary Hopkin hit, but was originally Russian.

It’s not particularly subtle but there are some moments of tenderness and, of course, it’s all well played. For serious classics’ fans, it’s probably akin to Now That’s What I Call Music to rock snobs, but anyone who just wants a nice tune will enjoy it.

Track listing: Cossacks beyond the Danube; Suite for Variety Orchestra: Waltz No.2; Moscow Nights; Meadowlands; Romeo and Juliet, Op.64, act one, Dance of the Knights, Montagues and Capulets; I Met You; Katushya’s Bumble Bee; Dark Is the Night; Kalinka; Theme from Sunflower; Dark Eyes; Theme from Cheburashka; Those Were the Days.

Vladimir & Anton Live

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s