"Music is the universal language," so the cliché goes. In Mountain Tale, East and West, folk and classical, come together to speak in tongues quite unlike any heard before.
You probably have heard the celebrated Bulgarian Voices (also known as Angelite): a glittering ladies choir that interprets their country's diverse Eastern and Western folk legacy with astonishingly bright and complex harmonies and rhythms. And you've probably heard the equally unforgettable Tuvan throat-singers (also known as Huun-Huur-Tu) of Mongolia, as masculine and guttural as the Voices are luminously feminine.
Who would have thought this yin-yang of celestial songbirds and enchanted frogs could blend so well? Mikhail Alperin, visionary leader of the classical/folk/jazz Moscow Art Trio, that's who.
The innovative Moscow Art Trio is the glue that holds together the record's fabulous 28-piece multicultural ensemble of singers and musicians (funky ethnic instruments, grand piano, flugelhorn. . .). Alperin has written or arranged all but one of the ten mostly traditional songs with "new music" sophistication, yet penetrating directness and purity. It's impossible to underestimate the contribution of the Trio's Sergey Starostin. On almost every track his bluesy, tenor wail—lyrics in Russian—bridges Bulgarian Heaven and Tuvan Earth with Slavic soul. You just have to hear this enchanted goulash to believe it.