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Alexander Chirozidi about Diana Volkova Solo Project

It is for the third time that my dearest friend, Diana Volkova, has presented her followers with her splendid art - another half a dozen gems of rare musical gift, displaying unprecedented instrumental prowess and creative sophisticatedness. The opening songs are based on sonnets by Shakespeare: Sonnet 122 – this one is very delightfully clothed in music. By allowing her voice to touch softly on the gentler contours of the melody, Diana breathes an air of sweet intimacy into the arguments of the poet, making the sonnet an especially affectionate memento of the latter’s feelings for his beloved. Sonnet 73, in contrast, is a rather gloomy one, and so is Diana’s masterly song: autumnally tinted – as despondent as colourful. Its emotional range is stunning - from reservedness of narration to boldest manifestations of fiery vehemence, even to the point of desperation with a conveniently melancholy ending. The following two are the sonnets of my own doing, previously honoured by Diana's attention. These remain as impressive as before in my talented friend’s rendering, albeit instrumentally and vocally elaborated. Sonnet four is arguably the longest song Diana has composed so far – a six minutes’ threnody, clad in plaintive tones of the singer’s velvety mezzo. I thank Diana wholeheartedly not only for her tender treatment of the wounded sentiments I put therein, but also for her choosing to borrow a phrase from this particular sonnet for the title of her new album. The last two are nothing less than two sublime tone poems - a fragment from “Tintern Abbey” and “To the Lark”, based on the romantic poems by William Wordsworth. Although both written in the key of E minor, the songs are quite contrary in terms of the trajectories of musical thought: the bright, dulcet melody of the former (at first suggested with pleasant harmonic thirds in the guitar) moves for the most part downward and eventually reaches the tonic from above. The latter, conversely, starts off in earthier tones; its sombre melos taking flight, ends up in the crystalline heights of a newly found tonic (B), following, as it were, the lark on its (meta)physical way to Heaven. The mesmerising, if somewhat mystical-sounding triplets of the introductory part anticipate the melodious splendour of the ode, leaving the listener breathless. (Oh, what an eloquent way to finish the album!) Enjoy the beauty!

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