Vitalij Kuprij - Glacial Inferno & Revenge
A Finnish label prepared for us a great gift in the form of 2 CDs by an Ukrainian key-master. "Glacial Inferno" is an absolute new release, however "Revenge" was previously published by Marquee/Avalon in Japan in 2005.
But let's start from "Glacial Inferno". The album includes best of the the best elements of Vitalij's music we have been able to know so far. Thus, they are: perfect arrangements, diverse compositional structures, improvisations, musical "plot" turns, brilliant technique and fiery tones blazing out of keys. A guitarist Michael Harris, famous for his guest appearance on "Forward And Beyond", especially in his classical parts, plays alla camera (intimately, chamberly). His style is noble and very precise. Also thanks to him, we can say that all the tracks are of classical spirit indeed. For instance - "Fire in the Sun" was arranged and performed in the manner of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or Antonio Salieri. There is also the European bonus track - "Theme by Albinoni" that has often been covering by neoclassical hard rock and metal virtuosos, e.g. Yngwie Malmsteen and Mistheria. Obviously, I mean "Adagio in G minor", originally for the string orchestra and organs. Vitalij's version is closer to Malmsteen's as regards atmosphere, even though Kuprij and Giuseppe Iampieri are keyboardists. All right, that means that they aren't "mirrors" themselves and don't play in the same manner! An Ukrainian's music is hard to comprehend in a rational way, because, as one of his music's reviewers wrote, it's like "cavalry's charge". Vitalij said that "classical music is the greatest form of musical art" and his newest release proves it. I must admit I am still forced to pay homage to Vitalij's neoclassical & instrumental progmetal, haha.
It's high time I moved to "Revenge" CD including additionally such artists like: a bassist Randy Coven and a drummer John Macaluso both famous for their participation in Ark and the Yngwie Malmsteen band; Roger Staffelbach who played a guest solo, and a bunch of well-known vocalists - Doogie White, Apollo Papathanasio, Goran Edman, Shawn Leahy (a co-producer of "Forward And Beyond") and Chris Catena (Vitalij played on his solo release titled "Freak Out" in 2003). If you know aforementioned singers' professional activity, you can expect an invitation to hard'n'heavy world. Yeah, that's so! If you can imagine yourself a mixture of Ring of Fire and Dushan Petrossi's Iron Mask, you are at home. Here are also more film emphasises and much dramatization that varies Vitalij's music even more. Obviously, there can't be a lack of classically "infected" compositions like Franz Joseph Haydn's "Excerpt from Sonata in E Minor)" and original track titled "Classic War". A Viennese classic refined a sonata form, and Vitalij developed it again with all his might. All those wonders which he works on keys must be a challenge for him as well.
"Ukrainian Weekly" wrote that he is "the most outstanding pianist of his generation". Presently, I have no doubt at all that grandiose Vitalij Kuprij can be put in the same row made up of the likes of Artur Rubinstein, Christian Zimerman, Janusz Olejniczak, Idil Biret, Philippe Giusiano, Peter Schmallfuss, Marian Pivka, Ida Czernecka, Dubravka Tomsic, Bernd Glemser and many others. With the works he has been doing so far, he proves that classical music in "metal shoes" is the greatest form of virtuosity. I hope Vitalij presents us with so excellent music further. He is still interested in cooperating with gifted musicians in the future. If you are talented and courageous enough to meet face to face with a true genius, let's try and it may be possible to see your name in Vitalij's future solo CD's booklet nearby Frederic Chopin himself, haha!