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Gregory the Minister: “Rock and roll – limited music!”

The old-timers of our portal will probably not remember that the hero of my interviews would be a writer-actor-musician and, at the same time, a music lover who is always looking for something new and loves vinyl. Such characters, probably, do not exist – as I thought, until I met Gregory the Servant, a real man of the Renaissance. Gregory is an actor in the Studio of Theater Arts, author of the bestselling book Days of Savely, nominated for prestigious literary prizes and a musician who often performs in clubs with interesting cover programs.

– You studied at GITIS with future pop stars. How has this affected your musical development and education?
– No way! Firstly, we were not taught music professionally. Acting is completely different. Secondly, we had some kind of object like the history of music, but no one went to it, because the couple started too early, and everyone woke it up safely. As for pop stars … I’m doing music to the extent that. This is my hobby. For example, Mariam Sekhon studied with me. Masha subsequently collected VIA “Tatyana”. She is one of the best singers in Russia in her genre. Masha and I are still friends, I love her very much! Even sometimes we perform together. But my passion for music began long before studying at GITIS – rather, it was genetic and came from my father. He was a true music lover: he flicked records, photographed album covers and watched everything that just came out in the West.
“And in what genre?” “In what is called hard rock, classic rock … Father was also a Beatleman, he loved Rolling, Led Zeppelin and all that. Even funk, but still less. He died quite early, and there were many cassettes, records, notebooks with lists of songs and albums … I myself now try to listen to music only on vinyl (at least at home). Of course, my tastes were different from my father’s ones, I’m completely of another generation: born in 1983 and I love post-punk, a new wave, different electronics. As for the 80s, the first is The Cocteau Twins and The Cure. I’m a real Kyuroman, really. Father almost did not find this. He no longer knew the Manchester wave.
“And what about your 90s?” “Grunge, electronics, drum and bass, brit-pop, trip-hop. I was a teenager, and this cup did not pass me – I drank it completely (laughs). I do not want to grumble, but that music was much more diverse than modern.
– Now everyone complains that there is only a stillborn pop-music, which in America is stamped by a small “mafia” of Swedish producers. Normal listeners understand that there is absolutely nothing to catch in this radio-television wave, and they “move” to jazz and even classical music. Here you have a very useful experience in this regard. – No, I did not “move” completely, rock is my flesh and blood! I do not deny him. But any producer will tell you that rock is just the right, well, or competent, combination of bass and drums, groove and rhythm. Plus, of course, a charismatic frontman. Everything. That is, rock and roll is, in fact, very limited music.
– And you are a lover of early classics, baroque. Why, and how to “enter” this genre? – I am not a musicologist …
“By this you are dear to us!” “But I understand that baroque means about 150 years. And immediately I recall Bach and Vivaldi. The guys who are personally closer to me – of course, this is Albinoni, whose legacy is not limited to the famous “Adagio” (which, moreover, he did not write). And here is his (actually his!) Concerto for oboe in C major – one of my favorites. – And what of Vivaldi, but not “The Seasons”? – Concert “L’Amoroso”. Allegro from it is generally the main musical theme of my book “Savely’s Day.” Vivaldi, in fact, has many bright works that many will like – “Concerto alla rustica” (RV 151), a concert for the flute “La Notte” … Compositions 15 minutes. They are not as simple as it might seem at first – there is nothing simple in baroque at all. They, I would say, are emotionally pure, very joyful, but at the same time not superficial. And imbued with deep love. That’s why Vivaldi’s theme is in my book, but he also has wonderful vocal cycles. For example, I wake up every morning under the “Gloria excelsis deo” (RV 589). Another of the Italians is Giovanni Palestrina. And Claudio Monteverdi. Psalms of Monteverdi are simply very beautiful! – So, and if not Italy?
– Then England (laughs). There, first of all, of course, Henry Purcell. Everyone knows that Michael Nyman borrowed from his opera King Arthur the theme for his requiem Memorial [we are talking about the prelude “What Power Art Thou” from the third act of the opera – approx. Ed.]. But the ending was gone there! And Purcell for me is a partly politicized composer: “King Arthur” is about the confrontation between the Whigs and Tories at the turn of the century! His opera is, in a sense, a political order. But the music is beautiful, and the context of the era is a tertiary matter. Who is interested in this now? – But it is not superfluous to know …

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