Stevenson: Passacaglia is a DSCH. Shostakovich: 24 Preludes and Fugues Op. 87. Igor Levit. Sony 3 cd. ★★★★★
Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated !. Igor Levit. Sony. ★★★★
Russian born German pianist Igor Levit, 34, with his diligent some-visibility and statements, arouses fuss to such an extent that those who think otherwise are willing to condemn his piano playing as a nonsense.
Levit has already been rewarded twenty times for his playing, records and social activities. Most recently, the Intercultural Dialogue Award, the amount of which was awarded by a pianist to an association that helps victims of digital violence, was clicked.
But is it, for ideological reasons, worth closing your ears to Levit’s technically limitless pianism that easily transcends musical difficulties? Levit plays so slickly and reaching out to extremes that such ease is a temptation to condemn to posing.
Levit is fond of giant projects and works. The latest disc boxes have Ronald Stevenson variation Passacaglia is a DSCH and Dmitry Shostakovich 24 preludes and fugues op. 87.
It has been published before Frederic Rzewskin variation The People United Will Never Be Defeated!, which is split apart JS Bachin Goldberg variants and Beethoven Diabetic variants from a box containing.
The works of Stevenson (1928–2015) and Rzewski (1938–2021) are united not only by the duration of more than an hour, the technical requirements of raising hair and the typing of melodies that draw from the treasure chest of history, but also by ‘intercultural dialogue’ and left-wing militancy.
Passacaglia is a DSCH (1962) is based on a short D – Es – C – H theme, the melodic letters of Shostakovich’s name. The chromaticity and variability of the frequently recurring theme in different texture types, tempos, and the counter-sounds sliding above or below create a rather serious impression.
Suddenly, the penetrating character of the theme is supplanted by a lament reminiscent of the child victims of Nazism. Follow the painting of the horrors of war and the reference to the song of the Russian Revolution. In relation to racial oppression in South Africa To emergent Africa variant drums low tongues directly with the palm of your hand.
Second more breathtaking variations emerge from each other. Eventually, the main theme is joined by the B – A – C – H theme and the medieval Dies irae into a triple fugue, “In memoriam the six million (jews)”.
The last variation, which begins very slowly, is marked by perhaps the most special performance in the history of music: con un Senso di spazio quasi gagarinesco. Freely translated: Like the space sensed by Gagarin. At the time of composing Yuri Gagarin was the first person to visit space.
In later years, Stevenson withdrew his naive admiration after becoming aware of the atrocities of the Soviet Union at all times. About Lenin from.
Bach-type Shostakovich preludes and fugues are not as burdened with political interpretations as, for example, symphonies. Levit plays the work so beautifully, tonally and effortlessly in even the most fuugary work that you would think the power would be diluted from it.
But not, though, for example Alexander Melnikov the recording (Harmonia Mundi) has more edge, Levit’s interpretation is equally impressed.
Rzewskin in (1975) the theme is eligible for ear candy Sergio Ortegan fighting song ¡El Pueblo unido jamás será vencido!, who was also diligently cared for in Finland under the leadership of the Quilapayún ensemble by the Chilean elected Socialist President Salvador Allenden committed suicide in a military coup in 1973.
In the next 36 variations, the range of styles is as wide as possible. In places, the feel of the theme disappears, fragmented, twisted and gets scenes of madness, and after spirally twisting the perimeter, it returns as original, blowing like fresh air.
Optionally, the pianist is allowed to shout, throw the grand piano lid, and whistle. There are jazz imitations, stockhausen-like avant-garde texture, overtones that turn off the chords, lightning-fast melody reproduction, Italian work singing Bandiera Rossa and Hanns Eislerin Solidaritätslied.
Out of eclecticism, a violation of purity of style, Rzewski made a manifesto of solidarity.
Alongside Levit, who is tightening to the extremes, one could raise just as skillfully Marc-André Hamelinin a clearer version (Hyperion).
Critic’s Choices: A cross-section of a former avant-garde
Janáček: Sonata, In the Fog, On the Overgrown Path. Lars Vogt. Ondine. ★★★★
Leoš Janáčekin when you hear music, you are always amazed again that it doesn’t resemble any other music. The central piano works consist of rather short, personally titled parts, marked by intermittent and almost obsessively repeated bursts of grief, longing, restlessness, and affection. The technically lighter works are full of misleadingly original emphases. This enigmatic and thrilling balance of passion and fragility Lars Vogt skillfully nurtures, in places even daringly, fading piano playing into an almost unheard of fog.
Pärt: Passio. Helsinki Chamber Choir, Schweckendiek. BIS. ★★★
Based on the Latin text of the Gospel of John Passion is Arvo Pärtin the harshest works. With the exception of a rugged beginning and end, the work, which lasts more than an hour, progresses unshakably in combinations of high and low tones. Suffering and salvation play at the same time in the melody, loneliness at the breaks. A key feature of this tintinnabuli technique is the smooth, yet unpredictable alternation of incised and sweet chords. In the performance of the four-member evangelist group, the Helsinki Chamber Choir and a few instruments, evenness and the absoluteness of dissonances leave much to be desired.
Penderecki: Complete Quartets. Silesian Quartet. Chandos. ★★★★
Penderecki: Complete Music for String Quartet & String Trio. Tippett Quartet. Naxos. ★★★
A year ago with the dead With Krzysztof Pendereck (1933–2020) was an extensive production, but obituaries stuck to reminisce about the composer’s 1960s avant-garde phase. Stamping later production as postromantic is also a simplification. Almost identical recordings of quartet works provide a cross-section from 1960–2016. As early as 60 years ago, Penderecki used “extended playing techniques,” which later composers still serve as novelties. Subsequent quartets are quickly associative, freely percussive or melodic with their folk references and rhythmic vocabulary. The performances of the Tippett Quartet are rougher alongside the more toned playing of the Silesian Quartet.
Canteloube: Chants d’Auvergne. Sampson, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Rophé. BIS. ★★★★
Joseph Cantelouben Chants d’Auvergne are more than arrangements of folk songs from the Auvergne region of France. Dreamy orchestrations and outrageous solos intertwine in the ears. The main focus is on force Pascal Rophén to the superior playing of the Tapiola Sinfonietta conducted by, the precise translucency of the strings, the seductive clarinet and oboe solos. A soprano known as a baroque interpreter Carolyn Sampson the proportion is twofold: the naive simplicity appeals, but the folk ronskius remains thin, and undergoes operatively pressed shades.