Anatoly Pereslegin

Passion Models

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Passion Models is Anatoly Pereslegin's third album with a religious theme in a row. After the excerpts from the Book of Psalms put to music in E-Psalms_, it is now the turn of the five Gospels (to Matthew's, Mark's, Luke's, and John's, he adds the apocryphal Gospel attributed to Thomas). Passion Models is completely instrumental; so how exactly Pereslegin drew inspiration from each text remains quite obscure -- and truth be told, maybe it's for the better. The album is subtitled: "synth fantasies for the symphonic orchestra." In this case, the orchestra consists solely of synthesizers, except for cellist Alexander Zagorinsky, who took part to the previous album and is once again represented here through samples. Pereslegin forges the cellist's playing to his own image, modeling, transforming, and arranging the sound of the instrument into multiple interweaving strands. So the cello adds a touch of acoustic instrumentation, the treatments of the cello bring to mind academic electroacoustics, the complex writing (and use of atonality and fragmented themes) evokes contemporary classical, and Pereslegin's highly creative use of the synthesizer draws comparisons to new age music (especially composers who verge on the macabre, like Peter Frohmader or Artemiy Artemiev). "Mark" and "John" are a bit too crowded while managing to lack substance, but "Matthew" and most of all "Thomas" are surprising pieces. The latter in particular displays an impressive level of integration between cello and synthesizer. Passion Models is not as artistically successful as E-Psalms_, but those who enjoyed the latter will appreciate it.