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Soviet Russian Viola Music

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Product Details

  • Performer: Fedotov; Hammond; Vechkhayzer
  • Composer: Kryukov; Vasilenko; Frid; Krei
  • Audio CD (Feb. 23 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ncl
  • ASIN: B0030UO9QS
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #212,602 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Here is a recording of rarities on two counts. Not only is the music of Kryukov, Vasilenko, Frid, Krein and Bogdanov-Berezovsky little known outside of Russia, but viola sonatas are as welcome as they are scarce. Romantic lyricism, the influence of Scriab

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa766e3e4) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa716b42c) out of 5 stars Soviet Russian Viola Music Aug. 27 2010
By Digital Chips - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Soviet Russian Viola Music

This release should appeal to three types of people: those that want to further explore Soviet-era music; those that want to further explore the sound of the often-neglected viola; and those (like me) who want to do both.

Violist Igor Fedotov recently completed an exhaustive study of Russian 20th Century viola music, and this release is one of the results of that research. Fedotov presents five works for viola and piano, each by a different composer, spanning a good portion of the Soviet era.

The earliest work is a sonata by Sergey Nikiforovich Vasilenko. His 1923 sonata rolls from one highly dramatic and expressive melody to another. By contrast, Vladimir Nikolayevich Kryukov's sonata, completed in 1933, betrays the composer's love of Scriabin, giving it a somewhat exotic sound.

Bridging the early and late works on the album is a 1956 sonata by Valerian Mikhaylovich Bogdanov-Berezovsky, a close friend of Shostakovich. Bodgnaov-Berezovsky's is perhaps the most traditional in structure, but he still packs many original ideas into this short work.

Two compositions from the 1970's round out the release. A sonata by Grigory Samulovich Frid (1971) and one by Yulian Grigo'yevich Krein (1973). In these works, one can hear elements of atonality and other Western compositional gestures sneak in -- held firmly in check by the overarching tonality of the works. By contextualizing some of these avant-garde elements, these compositions have both an immediate appeal, and enough depth to reward repeated listening.

Igor Fedotov performs with easy assurance. It's clear he knows these works intimately, and can play to the strengths of the music. The viola has a slightly lower range than the violin, giving it a warm, rich tone. In proper hands (like Fedotov's) it can be just as nimble and expressive as the violin, although it hasn't really been until the 20th Century that composers really started to explore the soloistic potential of the instrument. These works were written primarily to showcase the viola, and Fedotov does not disappoint.

Soviet Russian Viola Music fills in two gaps: it presents five talented Russian composers who are virtually unknown in the West, and it brings five more outstanding compositions to the solo viola repertoire. Not bad for one release.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa75f781c) out of 5 stars Igor Fedotov: Soviet Russian Viola Music April 3 2010
By W. Ries - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Every aspect of this CD merits the highest praise: Igor Fedotov's masterful playing, the wonderful collaborations with each of his superb accompanists, and the beautiful compositions collected by Mr. Fedotov and presented here. The music is rich and sophisticated and continuously rewards re-hearing. Mr. Fedotov devotes a passionate intensity to every note, yet the forward drive of his playing is always felt. He has the remarkable ability to dwell expressively on every detail of every phrase, while at the same time to somehow indicate the role each passage plays in the unfolding structure of a piece. Pianists Leonid Vechkhayzer and Gary Hammond are wonderful partners in this intelligent expressiveness. Mr. Fedotov's viola technique is brilliant and comprehensive. His sound is beautiful, moving and haunting, and it displays great range and great variety. The pieces recorded on this CD should become parts of every violist's repertoire and should be widely known by music lovers. The extraordinary musicality of Mr. Fedotov's recordings here will set the performance standard for these pieces for a long, long time.
HASH(0xa73750fc) out of 5 stars I was just interested. Feb. 7 2014
By Jack E. Wright - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've gotten interested in noticing viola music and this album was a nice expedience. It was good listening for me.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa71ec1b0) out of 5 stars Expressive performance March 6 2010
By K. Collins - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Very strong and expressive performance - what a gifted artist Igor Fedotov is! One of my favorite pieces is Frid's Viola Sonata,Op. 62. Done with virtuosity !

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