Petrov is yet another composer new to me. I have to
say at once that I was bowled over by his music. In his accompanying
note our esteemed editor, in an understatement of majestic proportions,
observes that ‘the palate (sic – oops!) of his influences is
wide’. Never before have I heard such a deliciously eclectic voice:
Shostakovich looms largest of all, but there are also the unmistakable
fingerprints of Prokofiev, Franz Waxman, Satie and even Bernstein (listen
to The Devil and She Devil in Creation of the World),
and no doubt many others. The very first piece in this collection (The
Sea from The Shore of Hope) instantly recalls Debussy’s La
Mer – only to make way for Dawn from Ravel’s Daphnis and
Chloe. Stylistic elements range from pseudo-baroque to big-band
and, in the Nocturne from The Songs of Our Days, a splendidly
bluesy saxophone solo against a James Last-style orchestration. And,
incredibly kitsch though it may be, I loved the finale from the Creation
of the World.
In short, Petrov is a composer of amazing fluency.
Derivative, of course, but his successful absorption of other composers
and other styles is remarkable. I can only echo Rob Barnett’s plea that
we can get to hear Petrov’s larger-scale works.
These performances are vividly performed in clear and
Not recommended to those who worship at the shrine
of the avant-garde, but for middle-of-the-road music-lovers this disc
will be a delight.