Explorer Set - Slavic Edition

Album cover art for upc 5029365102810
Catalog: PCL10281


A budget-priced box of critically acclaimed piano albums exploring the rich diversity of Slavic piano music: an ideal introduction to the Romantic and post-Romantic world of Slavic pianism beyond the canon of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. The notable feature of this set dedicated to piano music by composers from Slavic nations is its sheer diversity. It would be possible to trace their writing for the keyboard back variously to Chopin and Schumann; but the same could be said of any other group of composers around Europe from the late 19th century onwards. What the set does illustrate is the rise of pianists; trained in a system that became known as the ‘Russian Piano School’; who could take on such formidably demanding scores as Lyapunov’s Transcendental Studies and Medtner’s ‘Winter Wind’ Sonata. Pianist-composers such as Bortkeiwicz; Blumenfeld and Medtner flourished across Europe in the first decades of the last century; and so did piano manufacturers; producing ever more reliable and tonally sophisticated instruments that could cope with the rigours of these scores. A generation before them; Viteslav Novak in the Czech Republic and Dora Pejacevic in Croatia were writing less prodigiously demanding music which took its expressive cue from the tone-pictures of Schumann rather than the broader canvases of Liszt. In Ukraine; Viktor Kosenko was one of several composers here to use old church modes in his narmony; lending it both a patina of antiquity and at times an other-worldly novelty. In Romania; Georges Enescu pursued this path still further in finding a new world for the piano hardly less distinctive than Scriabin’s. Back in Ukraine; the music of Ihor Shamo embodies a kind of melancholy yearning that is both a natural inheritance from Rachmaninoff and perhaps the nearest to a ‘Slavic’ expressive trait. All the performances here were recorded within the last decade and received with critical enthusiasm on their release. This budget reissue includes all the original sleeve notes; making it a worthwhile investment for collectors and newcomers alike.

Price: $66.98
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