Classical Music classical CDs reviewed New CD reviews every day latest Classical CD releases Buy your CDs of the classics here

Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:


1. Ovchinnikov: Piano's Melancholy Sound
2. Kushenov-Dmitrievsky: Cosaque
3. Sychra: Divertissement sur des Airs Russes
4. Cavos-Sychra: "My Dear Friend"
(aria from the opera-ballet
The National Guard, or Love to the Fatherland)
5. Gornostaev: Caprice Militaire
6. Ladyzhensky: Grande Fantaisie
7. Ladyzhensky: Valse
8. Vetrov: Elegy
9. Vetrov: You Won't Believe
10. Liakhov: I'll Go Scythe the Grass

Oleg Timofeyev (Russian seven string guitar)
 Amazon UK  Amazon USA

Very soon after my interest in the classical guitar I became aware of the existence of the seven string guitar which seems to have been favoured mainly, though not exclusively, by Russian guitarists as we see them sat in groups in mid to late 19th century photographs. I was not privileged enough to hear Oleg Timofeyev's first volume of "The Golden Age of the Russian Guitar" so I must say this is my first experience of the sound of the instrument and its music

It seems strange, for we guitar enthusiasts familiar with those western European guitar composers of the late 18th and 19th century's such as Fernando Sor (1786-1838) of Spain and the Italian Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829), that there existed a parallel tradition of guitar playing complete with its own composers and rich repertoire of music that many of us have never heard.

So this being the case, all the items in this programme are new to me, as are the composers. According to Oleg Timofeyev, Andrei Osipovich Sychra (1775-1850) was the most prolific of the composers featured here, and seems to have most in common with Fernando Sor. Sychra ,whose two contributions on this disc, the "Divertissement sur des Airs Russes", and a transcription of the aria from the opera-ballet Opolchenie, ili Liubov' k otechestvu ("The National Guard, or Love to the Fatherland") by Catterino Cavos (1776-1840) is in keeping with the forms that Sor would have used.

On the whole this recorded programme is made up of the genres that we would recognise from the Classical guitar repertoire that we are accustomed to, Elegy, Valse, Caprice a Fantaisie and the opening work by Ovchinnikov "Piano's Melancholy Sound" a theme and variations, the variations consisting of a Marche, Polonaise and Trio, etc. yet all of them played with a distinctive character of their own. Also included are two arrangements of popular Russian folk songs, one by Vetrov "You Won't Believe" and the other by Liakhov "I'll Go Scythe the Grass"

On his original Russian Seven-String Guitar, ca. 1860, Oleg Timofeyev is not the cleanest of guitarists, but the extraneous string noises does not, for me at least, detract from the enjoyment of the music. He performs with the spirited spontaneity of playing for the moment, which is rather refreshing, (his execution of harmonics is stunning) at times a little reminiscent of early Andres Segovia recordings. The overall effect being a little old fashioned, but at the same time aptly in keeping with the repertoire.

The unorthodox (to many modern guitarists) tuning of D G B d g b d that is employed for this instrument creates unusual harmonic overtones and a dark but pleasing sonority from which the music seems to benefit.

I can recommend this disc whole heartily to those wishing to explore new avenues of classical guitar music.


Andy Daly


Andy Daly

Reviews from previous months

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers : - The UK's Biggest Video Store

Concert and Show tickets


Musicians accessories

Click here to visit

Return to Index