Exposé Online banner

Aviva — Peer Gynt in Favour
(Musea FGBG 4855, 2010, CD)

by Alan K. Lipton, Published 2011-06-01

Peer Gynt in Favour Cover art

It’s a shock to hear music you've known all your life bent in new directions for new purposes. I still remember envisioning how my four-year-old self would have wept at The Residents’ deconstruction of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” It's that same feeling with this reboot of Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite. It’s the third album by Aviva, a.k.a. Russian multi-instrumentalist Dmitri A. Loukanienko, with a few uncredited guests, and these are new interpretations of familiar themes from Grieg’s 1875 opus. Some, like the universally recognized “Peer Gynt’s Morning,” involve cut and paste remixes of original orchestral recordings or, as on “Ingrid,” the florid piano of a modern interpreter like Gian Piero Reverberi. “Skalds’ Hymn” is a short electronic tone poem capturing the mysteries of ancient Norse legends. Progressive rock arrangements feed a 70s sound into a millennial mash-up on “Mountain King and His Daughter,” which sounds like Mannheim Steamroller offroading through a boreal landscape with Groupa, Hoven Droven, and other heavy Nordic roots bands. “Anitra” becomes a synthed up Eurodisco nightmare via Art of Noise. “Ese” is the clearest display of Loukanienko’s M.O.: adapt a classical theme for prog band a la Emerson, Wakeman, and other keyboard rebels, then tear it all apart in a delighted tantrum of dissonance and anti-structure. The final track, “In Favour,” feels like an apology for all these pranks, a gently building piece with a Windham Hill jazz flavor, something that might soothe the jangled nerves of Grieg and those who love him.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Aviva / Aviva Omnibus

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

David Sylvian - When Loud Weather Buffeted Naoshima – A commissioned installation that might immediately strike listeners as the soundtrack for a diorama in its startling ability to create the sense of motion and event within a setting of largely...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues