The poignant music in Acrobatic Dance was composed by Matvei Pavlov-Azancheev, a virtuoso of the Russian 7-string guitar who started his musical journey at the dawn of the 20th century, became a celebrated concert guitarist, survived a decade in one of Stalin’s labor camps, and died in grim obscurity as a Soviet pensioner in 1963. Armed with an antique Russian 7-string classical, guitarist Oleg Timofeyev brings the compositions to life with a perfect blend of passion and technique. The Russian 7-string is tuned to open G, which gives it a darker, deeper voice than its high-strung sibling, the 6-string Spanish concert guitar. Timofeyev understands how to exploit these cello-like timbres, artfully combining them with a rounded attack, subtle vibrato, and dulcet harmonics. The result is a bittersweet, haunting sound—a refreshing contrast to the crisp, often strident colors favored by many modern classical guitarists. Like Timofeyev’s earlier album, The Golden Age of the Russian Guitar, Acrobatic Dance reveals a forgotten branch of our instrument’s family tree, while offering sonic adventure. Hänssler.