Black and White: New Piano Classics
A rich instrument, practically an entire orchestra. This is about the piano. Seven octaves – what chords you want to build. But sometimes even one crystal-tinkling note in silence is enough to say everything. Probably, all composers in all genres wrote for the piano. And who did not manage to write for this instrument for historical reasons – like Bach, for example – that exists in transcriptions. Our selection contains new and archival recordings, from Bach to contemporary composers, from romance to Polish avant-garde, British postmodern and Soviet “philharmonic jazz”.
Maria Yudina «Anniversary Edition. Phonodocuments 10 CD »Reissue of the Year! 10 CD with recordings of the outstanding Soviet pianist Maria Yudina. Although the definition of “Soviet” would have warped her. Yudina – what is called a cult figure. And the legendary one. And a controversial genius. One of her admirers was Stalin – google the story of her letter to him. A true believer, speaking in a velvet cassock, on the stage overshadowing herself with a cross, she could not help but “run into”. She worked hard all her life, but lived in deliberate poverty and did not ask anyone for anything. Melody plans to publish even more Yudina’s notes. But so far the label has presented boxing, where mainly works by Bach, Beethoven, Schubert. From Russian – Scriabin, Mussorgsky, Myaskovsky, Stravinsky. Concert recordings, starting from 1950, mainly with a fairly clear sound (but still earlier hissing). Classicism and romance are one side of Yudina’s, lyrical. And she is beautiful. Contemporaries, including Neuhaus, were amazed at her very peculiar way of interpreting textbook works: either to drive the pace, or vice versa to stretch, but to play everything romantically and with soul – “under Schubert.” Avant-garde appears closer to the final disc of the collection. Vitold Lutoslavsky and his “Variations for Two Pianos on the Theme of Paganini”. Salon playful little thing of the 50s of the last century – “Sonatina for Trombone and Piano” by Casimir Serotsky. Grigory of Kherson (now lives and works in Israel) is on the trombone, which is also interesting, since the classical solo trombonist is a rare beast.
Dmitry Masleev “Fast Movement” The young pianist Dmitry Masleev became famous overnight – when in 2015 at the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow he received the first prize and a gold medal. Then he was taken under the wing by a member of the jury, influential and venerable virtuoso Boris Berezovsky. In the discography of Masleev there are several disks with the works of Scarlatti, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. He also recorded in an ambitious project – all Shostakovich’s concerts with conductor Alexander Sladkovsky. The new album shows a very interesting selection. These works are a kind of domestic “jazz” classic. Or “academic jazz”, so to speak. For example, “The First Concert” by Dmitry Shostakovich (Krasnoyarsk Academic Symphony Orchestra, conductor – Vladimir Lande, trumpet – Leonid Guryev). Domestic pop-jazz hitmaker Alexander Tsfasman is represented by the “Concert Suite”. And finally, what can be called “academic jazz” in full – the “Second Concert” by Nikolai Kapustin. Here with Kapustin is interesting. He is very loved in Southeast Asia, and almost every second album with Kapustin’s music was recorded by Koreans, Japanese and so on. We rarely remember him, although, for example, pianist Nikolai Lugansky is among Kapustin’s fans. Igor Butman also periodically tries to return the composer’s works to concert routines, and they are in fact the most suitable material for high-quality cross-projects of jazz musicians with academic musicians, beautiful refined music, with all kinds of whimsical decorations, spicy harmonies and a positive mood. Masleev acted as an enlightener here: after his ardent passionate performance, it is impossible not to appreciate! Apple Music, Deezer
Lyudmila Berlin, Arthur Ansel “’ B ’like Britain. Two pianos original project »An unusual format, style and genre. Duet piano album with works by English composers of the 20th century? Infrequently, this occurs, to say the least. Pianists Lyudmila Berlin and Arthur Ansel decided to make a British album, and with composers of the 20th century, which is modern by the standards of the half-thousand-year history of European classics. Moreover, so that all surnames begin with the letter “bi” – like Britain. Moreover, the composers themselves represent various schools of the last century. From the famous classic Benjamin Britten with his peculiar boldly cocky “homage” to Chopin (Two Pieces, Op.23) to the film composer Richard Rodney Bennett. We should be familiar with the latter as the author of film music for all British popular films, including Four Weddings and One Funeral. Here is his 1974 work “Divertimento for Two Pianos” – pure postmodernity, a parody / rehash of popular styles: from country and ragtime to blues. I especially recommend listening to the most, in my opinion, album hit “Moy Mell” by Arnold Bucks.