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Kabalevsky: Piano Sonata No.3 & 24 Preludes

Kabalevsky: Piano Sonata No.3 & 24 Preludes


Piano Sonata No. 3 in F major, Op. 46

24 Preludes Op. 38

Pietro Bonfilio (piano)

Once considered in the same breath as Prokofiev and Shostakovich, Kabalevsky’s star has waned somewhat (the same fate has befallen both Myaskovsky and Khachaturian), both in his native Russia and farther West, where he is primarily remembered for his exuberant orchestral potboiler, the overture he wrote to an opera on a Romain Rolland story, Colas Breugnon. The opera won both a Lenin Prize and Rolland’s approval – no small feat – but has been completely forgotten. However, the offbeat rhythms that made the overture an instant hit also lend an upbeat, funky character to the opening movement of the Third Piano Sonata.

Kabalevsky wrote the sonata in 1948, shortly after the premiere of another opera, Taras and his Family, based on the same gory narrative which inspired Janáček’s orchestral fantasy, Taras Bulba. ‘Excellent music (much Prokofiev),’ wrote Myaskovsky in his diary, ‘but the libretto is dreadful.’ The composer may have taken note, for although the opera was not revived, he used several of its themes in the sonata. Sweet playfulness and calm characterize the first theme, the gliding movement of the waltz in the second, and a spirit of youthful fanfare in the finale.

The 24 Preludes were composed in 1943 and dedicated to Myaskovsky. Kabalevsky had lately (like Shostakovich) been in siege-ridden Leningrad, and the wartime mood may have contributed to the patriotic flavour of the Preludes: each one uses a theme from folk-music collections of Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakirev and Liadov. Their first performer was the Russian virtuoso Yakov Flier, who was sufficiently convinced of their merits to include them in his international tours. ‘They are not mere transcriptions of the songs’, he declared, ‘but new, original works of great cohesion, a cycle in which each part has a meaning of its own. Each Prelude expresses a particular mood and significance… It is one of Kabalevsky’s most profound and successful works.’

Compared to works of political expediency such as the Song of the Party Membership Card from 1956, Flier was doubtless right.

During his lifetime Dmitri Kabalevsky (1904-1987) was considered by the authorities to be one of the Top 5 composers of Russia, on a par with Prokofiev and Shostakovich. He was praised for his formalism, general popular style and patriotism. He was not a revolutionary, and this caused his fame to decline after the collapse of the Soviet Union. His music however has a strong identity, vigorous, alternating power with lyricism, and rooted in the rich folklore of Russia.

This new recording contains his effervescent 3rd Piano Sonata and the complete 24 Preludes Op. 38, written during World War II, each based on a Russian folk song, presenting a wide variety of moods, from the pensive melancholy to fiery passion.

Played by the highly talented young Italian pianist Pietro Bonfilio, who expresses his love for the Russian culture with this beautiful recording.

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Brilliant Classics - 95256BR



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Mansurian: Songs and Instrumental Music

Mansurian: Songs and Instrumental Music


Canti paralleli

Postludia, in memoriam

Agnus Dei, in memoriam Oleg Kagan

Mariam Sarkissian (mezzo soprano), Anton Martynov (violin), Julian Milkis (clarinet) & Daria Ulantseva (piano)

Musica Viva Chamber, Alexander Rudin

Tigran Mansurian has gained an enthusiastic following in the West thanks to recordings which have placed him in the context of other mystical composers working in the former republics of the Soviet Union such as Giya Kancheli from Georgia, and Franghiz Ali-Zadeh from Azerbaijan. Mansurian himself is Armenian, and as such has featured in a Brilliant Classics ‘Armenian Composers’ collection of songs and piano music by, among others, Ramanos Melikian and Artur Avanesov.

Mansurian’s music, however, deserves to be considered on its own terms. The most fruitful period of his work was between the mid-1960s and early 1980s when he was considered a representative of the same nonconformist movement in Soviet music as his friends Andrei Volkonsky, Edison Denisov, Alfred Schnittke, Arvo Pärt and Valentin Sylvestrov. Using elements of Impressionism dodecaphony, even pointillism, Mansurian has been a master-creator of distinctive textures, inclined to soft harmonies and slowly paced, flexible development, often with melodies that delicately refer back to his Armenian heritage.

Canti paralleli (2012) is the main work on the album: a half-hour cycle of settings of Armenian poets for mezzo-soprano, piano and chamber orchestra. Postludium dates from 1992 and has been especially revived for this recording. It is dedicated to the memory of the violinist Oleg Kagan, as is the Agnus Dei of 2006. This is a three-movement instrumental reflection on the liturgical text, featuring the same ensemble of violin, cello, clarinet and piano used by Olivier Messiaen in the Quartet for the End of Time. All three works have their grave and stark moments, but the mood is not unrelieved, as one finds in some of his contemporaries: there is music of great tenderness and ready melodic appeal here. These are all premiere recordings, making the album a valuable addition to the Mansurian discography.

Tigran Mansurian (born 1939) is without doubt the foremost composer of today’s Armenia. His style is embedded in impressionism infused with folkloristic Armenian elements, and follows the minimalistic and spiritual line of fellow composers Arvo Pärt, Schnittke, Silvestrov.

His music has many strong advocates in musicians like Leonidas Kavakos, Natialia Gutman, Jan Garbarek, Alexei Lubimov and Patricia Kopachinskaya. The cult label ECM regularly issues his new works on CD.

This new recording by Armenian mezzo-soprano Mariam Sarkissian features song cycles in chamber music and orchestral settings, hauntingly beautiful songs on texts by Armenian poets. The moving “Agnus Dei” for clarinet, piano, violin and cello (the same instrumentation of Messiaen’s Quatuor pour le fin du temps) is written in memoriam of Oleg Kagan.

Mariam Sarkissian already received wonderful reviews of her previous album for Brilliant Classics (BC95244) of songs by Armenian composers Melikian, Avenesov and Mansurian.

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Brilliant Classics - 95489BR



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Gnattali: 4 Concertinos for Guitar and Orchestra

Gnattali: 4 Concertinos for Guitar and Orchestra


Guitar Concertino No. 1

Guitar Concertino No. 2

Guitar Concertino No. 3

Guitar Concertino No. 4

Marco Salcito (guitar)

Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzese, Marcello Bufalini

Brazilian composers already feature in the extensive library of guitar music on Brilliant Classics: not only the obvious name of Villa-Lobos (BC9196) but on a more diverse survey by Flavio Apro (BC94810), including lesser-known names such as João Pernambuco and Egberto Gismonti whose work also fused traditional Brazilian genres with elements of jazz, classical, world and contemporary music.

To their names may now be added Radamés Gnattali (1906-1988). Having composed much music of a consciously national flavour in the early part of his career, emulating Villa-Lobos, he sought a broader appeal during the 1950s with works such as these four guitar concertinos, dating between 1951 and 1967, which use neo-Romantic and neo-classical moulds while maintaining the light style often associated with symphonic jazz. The tricky balance between guitar and orchestra is skilfully

handled by means of dialogue and contrast, investing the structure of each work with a degree of intimacy more usually associated with chamber music.

The Second Concertino was written for Aníbal August Sardinha, known as Garoto, one of the creators of the bossa nova sound. Even though the concerto clearly reflects the guitarist’s manner of playing, the first movement also reveals the influence of American composers such as Bernstein and Gershwin, the third that of the new trends in symphonic and progressive rock music, with its pressing patterns, while the second embodies something of the melancholy typical of the bossa redolent of saudade. The Third is scored for an unusual ensemble of guitar, flute, timpani and strings, in which the flute also has a soloistic part; the Fourth returns to a string-only ensemble for accompaniment.

These premiere recordings are the work of Marco Salcito, who returned to Gnattali’s original manuscripts to edit the scores afresh; all guitar-music enthusiasts will be keen to hear his work.

Nikolay First recording of the complete Concertinos for guitar and orchestra by Radamés Gnattali.

Radamés Gnattali (1906-1988), son of Italian immigrants, is one of the most popular and famous composers of his native Brazil, where he is mentioned in the same breath as Villa-Lobos. His music is the perfect fusion of the high and the low, of formally structured classical music and the vibrant multi-coloured folk culture of Brazil.

The 4 Concertinos for guitar and orchestra are medium-sized, 3-movement works, highly entertaining and brimming with good tunes, groovy rhythms and brilliant instrumentation: a real discovery!

Played with infectious enthusiasm by guitarist Marco Salcito and the Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzese conducted by Marcello Bufalini.

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Brilliant Classics - 95491BR



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Erotica Antiqua

Erotica Antiqua

Neapolitan Villanellas


Boccuccia d'uno persic' aperture

Madonna tu mi fai lo scorrucciato

Tu sai che la cornacchia

Che sia malditta l'acqua

La morte di marito

Oi ricculina

Vurria ca fosse ciaola


Villanella che all'acqua vai

Vorria crudel tornare


Girometta senza te non viverò


Chi la gagliarda in F Major


O bellissimi capelli

Vezzosette e care pupillette ardenti

Occhietti amati


Matona mia cara, LV 663

Sto core mio

Madonna mia, pietà, LV 30

O occhi manza mia


Fontana che dai acqua

Fuggit' Amore

Letizia Callandra (soprano) & Francesco Cera (harpsichord and musical direction)

Ensemble Arte Musica

The Villanella is closely related to the city of Naples, as Thomas Wythorne already wrote in 1572: “groups of musicians vied with another sing rustic songs..they wandered the streets, improvising verses and songs in honour of the beautiful women they saw at their windows, and created a sweet harmony that delighted all who heard it”.

The Villanellas are far removed from the courtly poetry of the time, which sings of yearnings for the unattainable female beloved, speaking of sighs and tears. The Villanella however speak of water as the metaphor of love: dishes break, jugs crack and overflow with eroticism.

This new recording features a generous selection of Villanellas by lesser known composers as Giovanni Dell’Arpa and Filippo Azaiolo, but also by renaissance master Orlando di Lasso, who apparently had a soft spot for this genre.

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Boccherini: String Trios Op. 6

Boccherini: String Trios Op. 6


String Trio No. 4 in F Major, G. 92

String Trio No. 2 in E-flat major

Trio, Op. 6 No. 5 (G93) in G minor

String Trio No. 6 in C Major, G. 94

Lubotsky Trio

Firstly, this album represents a welcome return to the studio, and the recording catalogues, of the Russian violinist Mark Lubotsky. In English-speaking countries, Lubotsky is renowned as the soloist on Britten’s Decca recording of the Violin Concerto: a performance of idiomatic sweep which fully bears out the composer’s claim that ‘this is the performance I have been waiting for.’ He worked with all the great Russian conductors of his generation such as Kondrashin, Svetlanov and Rozhdestvensky. Throughout his career he has played and advocated the music of our time: most notably that of his fellow student at the Moscow Conservatoire, Alfred Schnittke, who dedicated both the Second Violin Concerto and three violin sonatas to him.

However, this focus on new music should not overshadow Lubotsky’s mastery of the classical repertoire. This particular disposition of the ‘Lubotsky Trio’ features the Swedish violinist Katarina Andreasson, though Lubotsky and the cellist Olga Dowbusch-Lubotsky have also played and recorded Taneyev in the more traditional string trio line-up with the violists Ferdinand Erblich and Vladimir Botchkovsky, and also as a piano trio, where they have been partnered by Schnittke’s widow Irina.

The String Trios Op.6 were published in 1769. After his Opp. 1 and 4 sets, they represent Boccherini’s third attempt in as many years to take forward the genre of the Baroque trio sonata. He went on to write another four sets of string trios, all of which are better known and more frequently encountered on record than Op.6, which makes this new recording all the more desirable for the connoisseur of Classical-era chamber music.

No less than the later sets, the Op.6 trios are characterized by a richness of melodic language, virtuosic brilliance and elegance, which nevertheless contains moments of high expression such as the chromatic Adagio which opens the G minor Trio, No.5 in the set. The sound of the two violins and cello in its fullness often approaches to that of the string quartet. Listening to these masterpieces, it is impossible not to notice the indubitable impact of his music on the great Viennese classics, first of all on Mozart.

Luigi Boccherini was one of the most famous cellists of his day, travelling Europe as a touring virtuoso. On his return to his native Lucca he founded the first professional string quartet in history.

Boccherini’s output for string ensembles is vast: he wrote more than 120 string quartets, 100 string quintets (with two cellos) and 48 string trios.

The string trios Op. 6 are for 2 violins and cello, highly expressive music full of rich classical melodies, elegance and instrumental brilliance.

Excellent performances by the Lubotsky Trio, with the eminent Russian violinist Mark Lubotsky, a pupil of David Oistrakh, as primarius.

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Sardelli: Suites pour le Clavecin

Sardelli: Suites pour le Clavecin


Troisième suite pour le clavecin in G Minor

Deuxième suite pour le clavecin in D Minor

Première suite pour le clavecin in D Minor

Chaconne composé à la mémoire immortelle de l’incomparable Mr. De Lully in G Major

Simone Stella (harpsichord)

This is the third volume on Brilliant Classics of the unsettling, time-bending music of Federico Maria Sardelli. Born in 1963, he has composed astonishingly inventive pastiches within the style of Italian Baroque concertos (BC94749) and cantatas (BC95068), which he conducts with the same free-wheeling brilliance that he brings to ‘authentic’ music of the same era in his recordings of Vivaldi (BC94030) and Alessandro Scarlatti (BC93357), all with his historically informed ensemble, Modo Antiquo.

‘In an antique way’: it’s a neat way to summarise the gifts of a musician not readily pigeonholed into particular categories. His latest album is his homage to the intricately stylised world of the French harpsichord tradition in the hands of Couperin, Rameau and others. In fact the concerto album concluded with a brief taster of Sardelli’s imagination running riot in the world of the Baroque keyboard, with a brief suite of character pieces and dances.

The same suite is included here – in a new recording and expanded, into a nine-movement ‘Troisième Suite de Pièces pour le Clavecin’ completed in 2016: the Second (2006) and then the First (1990) follow, in a characteristically unexpected piece of reverse engineering by Sardelli. The album concludes, as have so many volumes of music from this era before, with a musical tombeau, in this case written ‘to the eternal memory of Mr. De Lully’.

Simone Stella is fully conversant with the original idiom to which Sardelli pays homage, having made many well-received recordings for Brilliant Classics of Baroque keyboard collections, including the complete works for organ and harpsichord of Froberger (BC94740), Reincken (BC94606) and Böhm (BC94612). This is sure to be an album to delight, challenge and provoke lovers of such music.

This is the third album with original Baroque style compositions by Federico Maria Sardelli, following his successful previous albums with instrumental music (BC94749) and Sacred Music (BC95068).

Sardelli is one of the most interesting and original artists of today. He is a virtuoso flautist, musicologist and author, and founder/conductor of Modo Antiquo, the early music ensemble with which he made numerous first performances and recordings of unearthed works by Italian baroque composers, notably the operas by Antonio Vivaldi. He is a satirist and comical actor. One of his foremost passions however is composing, in the style and spirit of his beloved Baroque era. His works are not exercises in formal writing but the recreation of the daring originality and vibrant passion of the time, alive through the spirit of discovery.

This new album present works for the keyboard, Suites de pieces pour le clavecin, in the style of Couperin, Rameau and Royer. They are played by Sardelli’s colleague, friend and amazing harpsichordist Simone Stella.

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Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas Vol.1

Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas Vol.1


Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 2 No. 1

Piano Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 2 No. 2

Piano Sonata No. 3 in C major, Op. 2 No. 3

Piano Sonata No. 4 in E flat major, Op. 7

Piano Sonata No. 19 in G minor, Op. 49 No. 1

Piano Sonata No. 20 in G major, Op. 49 No. 2

Piano Sonata No. 9 in E major, Op. 14 No. 1

Piano Sonata No. 10 in G major, Op. 14 No. 2

Piano Sonata No. 5 in C minor, Op. 10 No. 1

Piano Sonata No. 6 in F major, Op. 10 No. 2

Piano Sonata No. 7 in D major, Op. 10 No. 3

Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 'Pathetique'

Giovanni Bellucci (piano)

‘Not just another Hammerklavier recording’: this was Gramophone’s enthusiastic verdict on a recording made more than 15 years ago by Giovanni Bellucci, who now returns to Beethoven with a complete series, newly recorded, of the piano sonatas.

In 2000 the reviewer noted that Bellucci was barely known to the wider concert-going public; no longer is that an issue, since his reputation precedes him thanks to this and other recordings. ‘The abundant vitality of feeling’ and ‘untrammelled freshness of feeling’ contributed towards an appreciation of Bellucci’s remarkable achievement, at a relatively tender age, in assimilating the mighty work so thoroughly, ‘yet to be able to play it in a way that is unburdened by a consciousness of that knowledge.’

Later Beethoven recordings were praised elsewhere along similar lines for their ‘exemplary control’, ‘beguiling lightness of touch’ and ‘masterful command of sonority’ (Musical Opinion): ‘Refreshing, occasionally idiosyncratic and unpredictable playing that further bolsters Bellucci's reputation as a pianist both deeply musical and fearlessly virtuosic.’

These previous releases concentrated on imaginative pairings of well-known sonatas with transcriptions and other works by Romantic composers unimaginable without Beethoven’s example. Now, in the complete cycle, he (quite properly) goes back to the beginning, presenting the sonatas in roughly chronological order, in so far as dates can be firmly established. CD1 contains the three sonatas Op.1; CD2 contains Op.7, the Op.49 pair and the Op.14 pair, and CD3 the trio of Op.10 sonatas before concluding with the ‘Pathétique’, Op.13. Further critical encomia are sure to follow: Brilliant Classics presents here another milestone in the long and eventful path of this music on record.

The start of an exciting and prestigious series: the complete Beethoven piano sonatas played by Giovanni Bellucci!

Giovanni Bellucci is one of the most interesting and extraordinary pianists of today. Described by Piero Rattalino as “a force of nature, vast and palpitating”, his playing is highly original, striving to recreate the original impact of the works he is playing: “he takes us back to the Golden Age of the Piano” wrote Le Monde. His recordings, notably with works by Liszt, were showered with prizes such as Diapason d’Or, Choc, Editor’s Choice, CD Maestro etc.

Giovanni Bellucci embarks on this epic musical journey of recording the complete Beethoven Sonatas (and later the Beethoven/Liszt symphonies), a challenge that every pianist of world stature will face. His Beethoven is free, with a strong sense of rhetoric and improvisation, adhering nevertheless strictly to the score and its intentions. The result is fresh, exhilarating and illuminating, letting us marvel at the originality and genius of the music.

Issued in 3-CD sets, the series starts chronologically with the Early Sonatas Op. 2, 7, 10, 13., 14 and 22.

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Brilliant Classics - 95103BR

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Hindemith: Complete Chamber Music for Clarinet

Hindemith: Complete Chamber Music for Clarinet



Quartet for Clarinet, Violin, Violoncello and Piano

Matteo Fossi (piano), Duccio Ceccanti (violin), Vittorio Ceccanti (cello)

Sonata for Clarinet & Piano in B flat major

Matteo Fossi (piano)

Clarinet Quintet, Op. 30

1955 version

Quartetto Savinio

Musikalisches Blumengärtlein und Leÿptziger Allerleÿ

Marc-Antoine Bonanomi (double bass)

Abendkonzert from 'Plöner Musiktag D Nr.2'

Alexander Grytsayenko (violin)

Quartetto Savinio

Ludus minor, 5 pieces for clarinet & cello

Joel Marosi (cello)

Davide Bandieri (clarinet)

For this release, clarinettist Davide Bandieri is joined by a superlative group of musicians, all determined to shine a light on some of Hindemith’s most sensitively scored chamber music. As a keen amateur clarinettist himself, Hindemith composed for the instrument throughout his life. This repertoire therefore takes us on a journey right from his early works in the 1920s – when the composer was influenced by the ailing conservative composer Arnold Mendelssohn – to the mid 1950s, when his music had been strongly shaped by Schoenberg’s ideas about tonality. Characteristically for Hindemith, much of his clarinet repertoire is Hausmusik – written for a domestic setting rather than public performance. A sense of intimacy can therefore be heard alongside the composer’s typical wit. The Musikalisches Blumengärtlein is one of Hindemith’s many parody pieces, with tongue-in-cheek comic effects in its unusual instrumentation and original movement names like the punning ‘Canon (for shooting)’.

Throughout his life, Hindemith was determined not to let his music become part of the ‘routine’ of professional musicians. He was careful to keep his compositions light, and to compose for all sorts of instruments and genres, leaving us with a fascinating legacy. The musicians on this album are all experienced interpreters of chamber music; several, including Davide Bandieri, have long played with the prestigious Lausanne Chamber Orchestra. The Quartetto Savinio, who join Bandieri for the Quintet Op.30, have been described as the ‘one worthy heir to the Quartetto Italiano’ (L’Unità).

The pieces on this double-CD are evidence of Paul Hindemith’s love for the clarinet, an instrument of which he was a keen amateur player and for which he wrote a considerable amount of music.

The Clarinet Sonata, Quartet and Quintet were intended for the concert hall, while the other pieces were written for amateurs to be played in more private settings, Hindemith’s mission being to create approachable music for as many people as possible.

In all these works Hindemith’s particular style shines through: from the strict neo-classicism, the “Neue Sachlichkeit” to vigorous expressionism, all sharing his joy of invention and creation.

Played by Italian master clarinettist Davide Bandieri, who played solo clarinet in the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and Mahler Chamber Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado. For this recording he secured the collaboration of such eminent instrumentalists as pianist Matteo Fossi, violinist Duccio Ceccanti and cellist Vittorio Ceccanti.

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Gliere: Piano Music

Gliere: Piano Music


Preludes (25), Op. 30

Romance, Op. 16, No. 2

12 Children's Pieces, Op. 31 4. Träumereien

12 Children's Pieces, Op. 31 6. Valzer

12 Children's Pieces, Op. 31 10. Lied aus dem Osten

12 Children's Pieces, Op. 31 11. Albumblatt

Two Piano Pieces, Op. 99: I. Impromptu for the Left Hand in E Major

Two Piano Pieces, Op. 99: II. Melodie B-Flat Major

Gianluca Imperato (piano)

Working in all the standard genres from string quartet to symphony, sonata to concerto, ballet to opera, Reinhold Glière never attained the fame of his contemporary Rachmaninov, but his music is no less recognisably Russian, no less filled with long and aching cantabile melodies; the significant point of contrast is that Glière, who never left Russia, was not afflicted with the pervasive melancholy that so memorably colours Rachmaninov’s music.

The difference is quickly apparent in the 30 Preludes which are Glière’s major contribution to piano literature. The C minor Second may very obviously be written in the shadow of Chopin, but most of the major-key examples enjoy the carefree mood of a relaxed, Russian Brahms. Nearly all of them invite words to be sung with them, such as the spring-like No.7 or the Romance of No.15. For pianists and lovers of Romantic piano music alike, the Preludes of Glière should be a joyful discovery.

On his debut recording for Brilliant Classics, Gianluca Imperato complements the Preludes with selections from other, slighter keyboard collections: the Kinderstücke Op.31, 12 Sketches Op.47 and then the Two Piano Pieces Op.99 dating from 1955: an impromptu for left-hand alone which is not to be confused with his Op.35 No.9 (a favourite miniature for violin and cello recitals); indeed neither it nor the companion Melodie have been recorded before. They show that at the age of 80, Glière could still pen music that was remarkably refined, calm and melancholy; suspended in time, or beyond the reach of events.

Reinhold Glière (1875-1956) was a Russian composer and violinist. His works draw inspiration from his great example Chopin, as well as from various other Russian composers and contemporaries: Rachmaninoff, Scriabin for his harmonic and pianistic style, and Khachaturian and Kabalevsky for the folklore elements and Soviet realism.

This new recording contains his 25 Preludes Op. 30, following the same tonal sequence as Chopin’s 24 Preludes but adding a 25th prelude in C major. Furthermore we hear several character pieces, of great charm, atmosphere and melodic invention.

Italian pianist Gianluca Imperato won many prizes at international piano competitions, as well as the prestigious Solti Foundation grant.

“Sensitive and mature pianist, a true revelation” wrote the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

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Muczynski: Chamber Music

Muczynski: Chamber Music


Fantasy Trio, Op. 26

Gleb Kanasevich (clarinet) Dorotea Racz cello Dmitry Samogray piano

Cello Sonata, Op. 25

Dorotea Racz (cello), Dmitry Samogray (piano)

Duos for Flute & Clarinet Op. 24

Ginevra Petrucci (flute) Gleb Kanasevich clarinet

Time Pieces, Op. 43

Gleb Kanasevich (clarinet), Dmitry Samogray (piano)

Sonata for flute & piano Op. 14

Ginevra Petrucci (flute), Dmitry Samogray (piano)

Often cited as the most distinguished neoclassical composer of post-war America, Robert Muczynski (1929-2010) was born in Chicago to Polish parents. This album of chamber music surveys an output which is always restless and unpredictable thanks to the embrace of both Bartokian harmonies and structures as well as the more lyrical yet open-ended language of Samuel Barber.

The Cello Sonata of 1968 is often considered to be Muczynski’s chamber music masterpiece, in which the problems of balance and register inherent to the genre are not only solved but transcended with a mastery especially evident in the central Scherzo. From a year later, the Fantasy Trio Op.26 is a welcome addition to the clarinet-cello-piano trio genre established by Beethoven.

Energy and punchy rhythmic interplay are hallmarks of Muczynski’s music, as the earlier Flute Sonata engagingly demonstrates: in its whimsical, abrupt, headstrong progress through a compact four-movement form, it may even be considered the most important such work by an American composer.

Muczynski took technical agility and devil-may-care confidence for granted in his interpreters; in this case, an international quartet of musicians based in the US. There is an extended booklet essay by the pianist Dmitry Samogray which places both composer and works in invaluable context. Any listeners curious to fill out their appreciation of American music beyond Copland and Bernstein will want to hear this release.

Robert Muczynski (1929-2010) was born in Chicago, son of a Polish and Slovak immigrant. At the age of 5 he started his piano lessons, and later studied at the DePaul University composition with Walter Knupfer and Alexander Tcherepnin.

Muczynski may safely be called the most important neoclassical composer of post-war America. His style bears influences from Bartók, Barber, Bernstein and occasional jazz elements.

This new recording contains some delightful chamber for various instruments: the flute sonata, trio for clarinet, cello & piano, the cello sonata, and duos for flute and clarinet: attractive music full of vitality and exuberant energy.

Wonderful performances by Ginevra Petrucci (flute), Dorotea Racz (cello), Gleb Kanasevich (clarinet) and Dmitry Samogray (piano), all four of them seasoned soloists and ensemble players.

The booklet contains excellent liner notes written by Dmitry Samogray.

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Brilliant Classics - 95433BR



(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.


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