Ilyin, Gennady - The Sun Of The Spirit,
Little Tragedies were formed in 1994 around a graduate of St. Petersburg Conservatory, composer and keyboard player Gennady Ilyin, in the city of Kursk. Their early music focused on the genres of instrumental suite, variations, different combinations of classical, contemporary and rock music. According to Gennady Ilyin, it was more like improvisations without lyrics and vocals - he was just interested in working with 'pure' music. At the end of the Nineties he recorded two solo albums, of which this is the first. Originally this was released as a Little Tragedies album by Boheme in 2000, but it was reissued by Mals in 2009 with a bonus track (and new artwork) and this time correctly under Gennady’s own name.
Gennady was assisted on this album by Igor Mikhel (guitars) and Evgeny Shchukin (sound engineer); and he used his music with the poems of Russian poet Nikolai Gumilev. I swear if you listen to opening number “Parrot” you will believe that you are listening to a long-lost song from The Enid (okay, with Russian vocals and lyrics it has to be said), but there is something about it that reminds me of Robert John Godfrey’s finest works. It is bright, and very powerful and doesn’t sound at all like a solo album so perhaps it isn’t surprising that it was originally issued under a band name.
Gennady is an incredible keyboard player (not surprising given his background and training), but while there are some Russian classical influences in his playing there is also plenty of Wakeman and Emerson alongside some of the great prog bands such as After Crying and Solaris.
It is virtually impossible to split these two albums, and given that they were recorded at virtually the same time perhaps that isn’t overly surprising. So instead of working out which one is the better, why not just get both?