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Vladimir Rebikov was born in Siberia in 1866 and died in the warmer climes of the Crimea in 1920. After learning the piano with his mother, he studied at the Moscow Conservatory where he was taught by Nicolai Klenovsky, a pupil of Tchaikovsky and himself a ballet composer, and continued his studies in Berlin and Vienna. In his late twenties he had an opera produced in Odessa. In addition to many piano works Rebikov produced numerous orchestral, vocal and stage works, the last category including what he called “musico-psycholographic dramas”; in some of these he experimented by combining spoken and sung text to a musical accompaniment. Around the turn of the twentieth century, emboldened by the more progressive atmosphere outside Russia, he deliberately began to “think outside the box” and his style underwent radical changes: he increasingly left behind the influence of Tchaikovsky and embraced, sometimes even pioneered, novel sounds and procedures, some aspects of which are explored in the in this recording.
He wrote in a bewildering array of styles. Some of the composers, most of whom flowered later, whose music is brought to mind by that of Rebikov are: Satie, Poulenc, Milhaud, Bartók, Stravinsky, Copland, Chávez, Ives, Cowell, Debussy, Scriabin, Prokofiev, Messiaen, Mompou, Villa-Lobos and Vaughan Williams. Lack of key signatures, time signatures or bar lines, “hanging”, unresolved endings and fades, harmonies based on fourths, sevenths and ninths – these were some of his trademarks. Rebikov has been driven to the margins of musical history, not least because the Russians seem interested almost exclusively in their front-rank composers. This is borne out by the fact that, as far as can be determined, out of this recital programme only a piece of two minutes’ duration (track 21) has previously been recorded.
Described by The New York Times as “a man whose nature was designed with pianos in mind”, Anthony Goldstone is one of Britain’s most respected pianists. A sixth-generation pupil of Beethoven through his great teacher Maria Curcio, Anthony Goldstone was born in Liverpool. He studied with Derrick Wyndham at the Royal Manchester College of Music (which later honoured him with a Fellowship), later with Curcio in London.
He has enjoyed a career encompassing six continents, the Last Night of the Proms, very many broadcasts and nearly seventy CDs. He has an adventurous approach to repertoire and has been praised by Vienna's Die Presse for “his astonishingly profound spiritual penetration”. In the last few years Goldstone has become known for his acclaimed completions and realisations of works for solo piano and piano duet by Schubert, and for two pianos and solo piano by Mozart, all of which he has recorded on Divine Art CDs.