Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915)
The Piano Sonatas
Anna Malikova, piano
In 2015, we celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Alexander Scriabin's death. To commemorate this occasion, Russian pianist Anna Malikova and the ACOUSENCE label is issuing a new complete recording of the composer's ten piano sonatas, which will surely be regarded as definitive.
Scriabin completed his piano studies at what is today the Tchaikovsky Conservatory and, starting in Moscow, went on to have an international career. He himself was the first champion of his music, followed by Vladimir Sofronitsky, Heinrich Neuhaus and his pupil Lev Naumov. Naumov in turn was Anna Malikova's mentor for a period of 15 years, so with this background, she brings a high level of authenticity to these works.
Anna Malikova masters these sonatas, which test the very limits of piano technique, with impressive technical prowess and exceptional virtuosity. Not only does she display her deep understanding for the composer's mystical world, but also presents the incredible development of Scriabin's unique compositional style in a fascinating way. In his early years, he was still interested in the romantic, virtuosic tradition of Chopin and Liszt, only to break almost every compositional rule over the course of his career and blaze new paths.
Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
ALBUM FOR THE YOUNG, op. 68
Leonora Armellini, piano
For her debut album, young Italian pianist Leonora Armellini treads resfreshingly new paths with her take on one of Robert Schumann's most successful and popular works, the Album for the Young, op. 68.
In the collection written in 1848, Schumann wanted to compose pieces of good quality primarily aimed to foster children's enjoyment in playing the piano. He immediately conceptualized kind of a house book appealing to all senses in which the atmosphere of the time in music, literature and painting was incorporated. In addition to that, almost all pieces of the album bear direct references to the family life of the Schumann's: He makes use of events, characteristics and actions of his children in a musical fashion. The Album for the Young affords Leonora Armellini a lot of room to bring across this very joy of playing the piano and to present her multi-faceted and delicate playing.
SERBIAN PIANO WORKS
Tijana Andrejic, Piano
This CD contains a cross section of piano works of Serbian composers, representative both musically and pianistically. Regardless of the style of each composer, the piano serves as a universal medium, and the miniature is the preferred choice of narrative: Marko Tajčević: BALKAN DANCES; Dejan Despić: NOCTURNE op. 5, VIGNETTES op. 43a; Vasilije Mokranjac: ETUDE No. 4 in B-flat minor; Miloje Milojević: CAMEOS – Impressions for Piano op. 51; Isidora Žebeljan: IL CIRCO for Piano
Trio Rafale / Piano Trios / Brahms – Vasks
Dramatic, Mysterious, Expressive
The name of the young piano trio Rafale comes from the French word for gust - in addition to gale force storm winds, gust can also mean a warm air stream or a cool breeze. It is thus a metaphor for every type of musical gesture.
Within a short time, the young trio has already won a remarkable number of prizes. Recently, Trio Rafale won both the jury prize and the audience prize at the Migros Culture Percentage Chamber Music Competition in 2013. Before that, Trio Rafale won the first prize at the prestigious Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition 2011.
They live up to their name in this new recording, whether it be powerful or agile, of Johannes Brahms C-major Piano Trio Op. 101 and "Episodi e Canto perpetuo"; the Latvian composer Peteris Vasks writes of his work, dedicated to French composer Olivier Messiaen": "It describes a difficult journey through the misery, disappointment and suffering of love; this journey is the centre of gravity of the canto." Trio Rafale captivates listeners' emotions in its portrayal.
Trio Euphony / Music for a while
Achieving the (seemingly) impossible
There is probably no more striking a combination for an ensemble than the one presented here under the name of "Trio Euphony" (Greek for "beautiful sound). On the one hand, the harp with its floating, "silvery", delicate and French timbre and the tuba on the other, with its dark and strong bass sound in its low range, and its incredibly dense sound in the high range. The unifying element is the soprano, the human voice as mediator between all of the bold colours, moving fully independently between the two great and yet so different instruments. This enables a diversity which seems impossible but induces the instruments to create surprising timbral effects.
This debut album is a highly eclectic and colourful mix of arrangements and original compositions for the trio as well as for duos for Harp and Soprano, Harp and Tuba, and Soprano and Tuba.
Belenus Quartett / String Quartets / Haydn - Bartók
Powerful, virtuosic and breathtaking string quartet
The Belenus Quartet was awarded with the special prize for best Haydn interpretation at the "Sandor Vegh Competition" in 2012. With exciting vitality, sensitivity to rich nuances and powerful virtuosity, the four young musicians are brilliant and breathtaking in their reading of Bartók's String Quartet No. 4; there is hardly another quartet in the literature which features such depth and diversity of sound in all of the instruments. Each of the five movements creates a special sound cosmos. For example, hardly anywhere else in the string quartet literature is there a movement of pizzicato throughout like the fourth movement.
A treat for audiophiles is this special edition limited to 999 copies on 2, 45 rpm vinyl records which is 180 g pressing with exclusive packaging (2 separate cases with booklet included in a boxed set).