Baroque Suites

Album cover art for upc 5029365101790
Label: PIANO CLASSICS
Catalog: PCL10179
Format: COMPACT DISC

Mokhtari, Nadia; Proshayev, Denys

‘There's real authority and vision’ to Proshayev’s Schumann,” observed The Guardian on Denys Proshayev’s debut album for Piano Classics in 2013: “the cleanness and clarity of his playing are hard to ignore.” A second album focused on Alfred Schnittke (PCL0071), drawing the following praise from Fanfare: “A well played and well recorded programme… Proshayev and his duo partner Nadia Mokhtari really get into the spirit of the [Gogol Suite]… Proshayev has a clear tone and lucid technique. He prioritizes clarity over histrionics, yet never skimps on drama.” A previous collection of Rameau also won high praise, and his latest album ingeniously unites his particular sympathy for Schnittke with his poise and imaginative tonal coloring of Baroque masters. A booklet interview reveals that it was the ‘unbelievable beauty and harmonious refinement’ of Rameau’s music that drew Proshayev to him, despite the challenges involved in transferring a completely original and highly ornamented idiom from harpsichord to piano: ‘On the modern piano, these ornaments offer such a great variety of possibilities, unimaginable nuances and so much freedom that these technical challenges at the end give place to pleasure.’ Proshayev’s pleasure in performance will be shared by the listener in these new recordings of the E minor Suite by Rameau, imaginatively paired with the Sixth Partita composed in the same key by Bach. For Proshayev the challenges involved in playing Bach are at least as much spiritual as technical: ‘Bach’s music is the quintessence of the highest concentration of emotions and spirituality.’ He concludes with a piano-duet arrangement of the Suite in Olden Style which Schnittke originally composed for violin and piano as a homage to the Baroque masters, uninflected by the irony and distance characterizing some of his other ‘polystylistic’ experiments in music.

Price: $22.99