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The Forbiddance (Yuri Poteyenko)

September 23, 2015

Cover_ForbiddanceTHE FORBIDDANCE

Yuri Poteyenko, 2015, Keep Moving Records
28 tracks, 65:38

Two for the price of one! This release contains both “The Forbiddance” and “Earthly Eden”. Which one is better? Only one way to find out…

Review by Pete Simons

What is it?

“The Forbiddance” and “Earthly Eden” are two of the most recent projects of Yuri Poteyenko who paired both works on one CD. “The Forbiddance” is a tragic love story set in the time of World War II when a young novice fells in love with an Italian soldier. Upon the arrival of the Russian army, they must seek refugee on a deserted island on Lake Ladoga… “Earthly Eden” is an adaption of Aleksandr Vampilov’s classic play Duck Hunt, transported into modern times as a young engineer named Zilov sees his life crumble around him with only the titular hunt bringing some relief to his conflicts…

What does it sound like?

“The Way to the Island” offers a piano-led melody which briefly and fleetingly reminds me of Hans Zimmer’s “Gladiator” theme (it’s a bit of an unfair comparison, but the first six notes really recall that theme for me). That said, the arrangement and performance are entirely different, with “The Forbiddance” having a sort-of rural, folksy feel to it, especially when the melody is taken over by solo violin. It is reprised beautifully in the lush, yet melancholy “Love and Faith”.

A note from the record label: “The Forbiddance” marks the composer’s fourth collaboration with Alexei Kozlov for whom he devised the beautiful “Love and Faith” theme which is used several times throghout the film. The CD also includes unused highlights such as “The Truth” which makes its debut here. “Earthly Eden” strikes an even darker tone with its portrayal of Zilov, one of the best known characters of contemporary Russian theatre. Randing from the steamy erotic saxophone solo of “A Romantic Encounter” to the morose loneliness of “Fatum”, Poteyenko perfectly captures all aspects of a disintegrating relationship.

“The Forbiddance” is orchestrated predominantly for strings and woodwinds. It is a slow, at times romantic and at times melancholy work. For example, the “Prologue” and “Epilogue” revolve around a longing melody for clarinet and strings. On rare occasions, such as “Under the Gun/Do Not Leave Me” and “Gun” does percussion take centrestage.

The second half of the disc is dedicated to Poteyenko’s score for “Earthly Eden”. This proves to be a lush score for strings and piano, and as such follows nicely on from the similarly arranged “The Forbiddance”. However, “Earthly Eden” has a distinct jazzy feel to it. If the lead piano theme didn’t give that away, then the piano and bass in “Good Friend” certainly does. In “A Romantic Encounter” a saxophone enters the fray.

The main theme recurs several times through the score. Its performance on the piano strongly contrasts the dark strings, and thus really draws attention to itself. And that means that all repetitions of the theme are very obvious and tend to make the score feel  monothematic, even though it is not.

Is it any good?

Yuri Poteyenko’s “The Forbiddance” is a beautiful and melancholy work for strings and woodwinds. It’s lush and romantic, but always restraint. It’s a slow and brooding score; and one that may need a little time to grow. It is deeply moving and worth the exploration. “Earhly Eden” is also heavy on the strings and is also quite a sombre score. Jazzy piano and bass provide this score with a different feel. However, it feels a little monothematic because there is little variation on the main theme, which is usually performed on the piano, in the same way, against brooding strings.

“The Forbiddance”: [4/5]
“Early Eden”: [3/5]


01 – Prologue (2:48)
02 – Escape Plan (2:13)
03 – The Way to the Island (4:12)
04 – The Meeting on the Island (3:06)
05 – New Beginning (0:45)
06 – Under The Gun / Do Not Leave Me (5:01)
07 – Cry in the Silence (2:26)
08 – Waiting at the Twilight (1:30)
09 – Love and Faith (2:51)
10 – The Tragic Story (2:20)
11 – Gun (0:53)
12 – Loneliness (1:29)
13 – Epilogue (1:42)
14 – The Truth (5:33)
15 – Hunting and Love (“Earthly Eden”) (1:50)
16 – New Boat (“Earthly Eden”) (1:34)
17 – Good Friend (“Earthly Eden”) (1:37)
18 – After Party (“Earthly Eden”) (1:11)
19 – A Romantic Encounter (“Earthly Eden”) (0:49)
20 – Despair (“Earthly Eden”) (1:43)
21 – Insincere Tears (“Earthly Eden”) (2:55)
22 – A Romantic Encounter (alternate) (“Earthly Eden”) (0:49)
23 – Walks Away (“Earthly Eden”) (2:24)
24 – Unanswered Call (“Earthly Eden”) (2:46)
25 – Good Friend (alternate) (“Earthly Eden”) (1:40)
26 – Dinner with Friends (“Earthly Eden”) (2:41)
27 – Fatum (“Earthly Eden”) (1:42)
28 – End Credits (“Earthly Eden”) (4:12)


For more information and soundclips visit Keep Moving Records‘ website.

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