Lviv, Ukraine resident Egor Grushin is actually one of my favorite present-day composers. Like several of his lesser known colleagues he surpasses well known ones like Olafur Arnalds, Sebastian Plano and Nils Frahm. Grushing would fit in quite well with that ensemble, certainly with a varied album like this one. Sometimes it's minimal and subdued, sometimes it's playful and joyous. It contains piano and strings, and a whole lot of talent.
After an intro, 'Essential' is exactly what the title predicts. This songs, and many others on this album, would fit perfectly on an 'Essential Classics' compilation, right in between the Mozarts, Beethovens, Händels and whonots. This is a joyous piece, a bit melancholic perhaps. Follower 'Summer' also doesn't disappoint. It sounds like a warm day in August, somewhere in the late eighteen hundreds or so.
Speaking about melancholy. The title track 'Once' really is a tearjerker and I write that in the best possible way. Remember that 'Essential Classics' compilation? Well, 'Once' deserves a spot too. It's followed by a waltz, aptly named 'Waltz'. But I'm not going into a song-by-song on this one. You'll have to check out the other ones for yourself while I press the repeat-button and enjoy this graceful album a few times more... You should too