Without previous knowledge of the music of Valentin Silvestrov (b. 1937), listeners who generally steer clear of contemporary music might miss out by not giving this Grand Piano CD a chance. The works span a creative period of over 55 years from the composer's Naive Musik (1954-55, rev. 1993) through the 2 Bagatelles, Op. 173 (2011). Performances are by Russian pianist Elisaveta Blumina who has long been a champion of the Ukrainian composer's music and, as the esteem is mutual, enjoys the dedication by Silvestrov of two of his waltzes. Roughly half of the music here is appearing as world premiere recordings.
Peaceful and reflective, these miniature mood pieces are characterized by airy textures and shimmering harmonies of subtlety shifting colors. His melodies have a folksong quality to them, and a childlike simplicity. There is great economy to his music; it has been distilled to the point where all that remains is essential. The composer is reputedly generous and meticulous with expressive markings, giving his performer many of the shaded touches and subtleties he desires. With the extraordinary care that has gone into crafting this music, you can sense that he loves his creations.
Working in a harmonic idiom drawn from the post-romantic era and in forms reminiscent of the romantic period - nocturnes, idylls, bagatelles and preludes - Silvestrov's music owes much to earlier times. "I do not write new music" he has said, "my music is a response to and an echo of what already exists." The composer has called his piano miniatures "sublime insignificances," two words that juxtapose oddly, but characterize perfectly.
Piano music is central to Valentin Silvestrov’s output. With its frequent allusions to lingering recollections of the past, this programme presents an overview of various creative periods. It begins with the composer’s reworkings of youthful sketches (Naive Musik), followed by Der Bote (The Messenger) with its beautiful Mozartian theme leading into a sonatina in the style of the 18th century. After recent works from Silvestrov’s self-defined ‘Bagatelle’ period, the recording concludes with the striking Kitschmusik, which engages with the music of Schumann, Chopin and Brahms. The Two Waltzes are dedicated to Elisaveta Blumina.
For the full liner notes click the "View Booklet Notes" on the left-hand side.
Valentyn Vasylyovych Sylvestrov (b. 1937) is a Ukrainian pianist and composer of contemporary classical music. Sylvestrov is perhaps best known for his post-modern musical style; some, if not most, of his works could be considered neoclassical and post-modernist.
Elisaveta Blumina is much in demand in the most prestigious concert halls of Europe both as a solo recitalist and as a chamber music performer of exceptional abilities. She began her studies in her native St. Petersburg, Russia, at the Conservatoire Rimsky Korsakov. A child prodigy, Elisaveta made her concert debut as a soloist at the age of 16 with the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra directed by Alexander Polyanichko with Brahms‘ Piano Concerto No. 1.
“Not just recommended. Guaranteed.”
We stand behind every album featured on Expedition Audio. Our objective is to take the monetary risk out of music exploration.
If you order this album from HBDirect.com and do not like it you can return it for a refund.
Valentin Silvestrov: Naive Musik - No. 3 "Fairy Tale"