Mikael Tariverdiev: He scored. 132 times.

5th November 2016

Title: The Irony of Fate

Label: Earth 

Tariverdiev was born on August 15, 1931, in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, when it was still part of the Soviet Union, studying at the prestigious Gnessin Music School in Moscow. His tutor was none other than the immense figure of Aram Khachaturian while Zara Dolukhanova, a legendary figure in her own right, sang a number of the graduating Tariverdiev’s chamber pieces.

Most people in his part of the world, though, will know the man for his film scores and film music and he did a fair few of those: 132 in all (plus over 100 ‘romances’, ballets, operas and much more). He was a busy guy until he died in 1995. Seventeen Moments of Spring and Irony of Fate are most famous of that worthy collection. The chances of a decent quality release is enhanced, though, because the album has been mastered using Tariverdiev’s own master tapes. My main aim was to inform you that this unique piece of work was ‘out there’. In fact, this album is the first in a series of stand-alone reissues by the great man and comes after the related Film Music collection that was released last year.

As for the actual content? Some of it is broad and spans the soundstage in a broad and grand manner but most of the music is beautifully intimate with a single voice accompanied by not a whole lot. A guitar maybe? Because of this, you tend to notice the quality of the actual music, which is high indeed, which appears in the form of complete songs as opposed to snippets and snatches of music or tiny moments interspersed here and there. Even the instrumental excerpts that do emerge are fully realised pieces of instrumental music. Each and every one is wonderfully composed, musical, catchy, flowing, simple in form and structure yet works of sheer genius. There is an innocennce that is stripped of the unnecessary. Because of this, the songs are direct and hardly fail to bring a slight smile to the lips.