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Svetlana Ponomarėva plays Schnittke

Svetlana Ponomareva , Alfred Schnittke , Yuri Nikolaevsky Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Product Details

1. Sonata for Piano n.1 (1988), I Lento, Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998)
2. Sonata for Piano n.1 (1988), II Allegretto, Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998)
3. Sonata for Piano n.1 (1988), III Lento, Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998)
4. Sonata for Piano n.1 (1988), IV Allegro, Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998)
5. Little Piano Pieces (1971), Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998)
6. In the Mountains, Moderato
7. Cuckoo & Woodpecker, Vivo
8. Melody, Andante
9. Tale, Lento
10. Play, Allegro
11. Children’s piece, Andantino
12. March, Allegretto
13. Concerto for Piano and Strings (1979), Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998)

Product Description

Product Description

MV Productions

Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Setting the Reference June 2 2006
It is always fascinating to see artists develop as human beings and how it affects their art. Classic repertoire could be at times imposing since many giants have played it and comparisons are the norm. Perhaps that's what I meant when I suggested in my review of Ms Ponomarėva's Schubert/Liszt second CD release, I believed she could even go farther, be freer in her vision.

Well Alfred Schnittke's piano music has not been extensively recorded and thus is an open field to set your record straight as an artist. The qualities displayed by Ms Ponomarėva seem to fully blossom in her third recording. That is why this one gets the full mark, 5 stars in my opinion.

She definitely set the reference for the Sonata (1988). Her conductor approach so successful in her Liszt here takes control of this incredible piece of music: this is a full blown orchestra reading, not one note is devoid of meaning.

Her ability to live through Schnittke's extreme changes from the intimate to the universal without giving the impression that she is on that path, thus creating the surprise, is so natural that the piece feels like it has been part of the repertoire for centuries.

I agree with previous reviews here that no other recording of that piece comes even close to this performance.

Little Piano Pieces are another aspect of Schnittke's music and the mischievous Ponomarėva brings a fresh and tender feel to them.

The recording sound is the best yet and the natural acoustic of the hall is perfect for these pieces.

Finally the last piece on the CD is a live recording -sadly of lesser sound quality- of a concert given in the soloist's hometown in Russia, three years ago, conducted by a friend of Schnittke -who passed away later that year-.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Schnittke's music is alive! May 30 2006
It is rare to hear Alfred Schnittke’s music performed in such organic way as it is on this CD. His Piano Sonata #1 is one of the most challenging pieces in solo piano repertoire – challenging in every possible way. Respecting the composer’s score, pianist Svetlana Ponomarėva suggests a luminous vision of this genius work. In the booklet’s texts she shares her own view on Sonata, interpreting the four movements of the piece (that form a “cross”) as – Trinity, Crucifixion, On the Cross and Resurrection. In her playing in front of us is the Schnittke’s orchestra which he himself perceived as “a model of the Universe”.

The entire program of the CD is meant as a triptych. There is also a historical recording of the Concerto for Piano and Strings with Maestro Yuri Nikolaevsky conducting (it was his last concert) and the interpretation of this Concerto captures well its ambivalent nature. Сharming “Little Piano Pieces” in the center of triptych is a great addition to the program. They reveal a different facet of composer’s creative mind.

Check ponomarevapianist.com for more information on the circumstances surrounding this great CD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Genius of Schnittke Revealed Feb. 19 2007
This quite frankly is a monumental CD. Alfred Schnittke was an extraordinary composer who created an amazing body of work that simply transcends. There is a beautiful spiritual quality to his work that is brilliant and compelling. Svetlana Ponomareva magnificantly reveals this quality in these piano works. There is an indescribable sensitivity, intelligence and spaciousness to her playing. She captures the essence, the soul of the music.

In the Sonata for Piano N. 1 we are treated to a an experience that is 'other worldly'. There is a sense of space between the notes. There is a feeling of challenge and beauty at the same time. Svetlana brings out the depth of this piece in an exquisite way.

Little Piano Pieces is a variety of short pieces whose individual unique character is clearly expressed by Svetlana and they all magically fit together under her guidance.

Finally, Concerto for Piano & Strings is a wonderful treat. I am happy that it was included even though the recording quality is not ideal. This is a richly emotional, powerful experience where there is tension leading to serene beauty. It is so expressively played by Svetlana and the Omsk Chamber Orchestra. This live recording is so alive, it brings out the goosebumps.

For those lovers of Schnittke, this CD is a must. For those that would like to discover an incredible composer whose music is played brilliantly with true understanding, I highly recommend this CD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
All Ponomareva CDs are in stock and available, please disregard comments by amazon.ca or buy directly at indiepool.com

Sound excerpts are in the artist's website ponomarevapianist.com

This CD includes the expansive Sonata for Piano N.1 (1988),the entire suite "Little Piano Pieces" (1971) and a live recording of the Concerto for Piano and Strings (1979) performed in 2003 with the Omsk Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Nikolaevsky.

The CD is dedicated to the memory of Maestro Yuri Nikolaevsky, a close friend of the composer. The soloist had the chance to perform the concerto in 2003 during the last concert conducted by the Maestro. This live recording captures the energy of this performance.

As for the solo piano part, recorded in 2006 in Vancouver CBC Studio One, it offers what is to date the most interesting and sensitive recording of the Sonata No.1, a work one might consider the Liszt Sonata of the XX Century. A style comparison with Irina Schnittke's own playing of another sonata, the second, also confirms the relevance of Svetlana's approach to his music.

Little Piano Pieces are miniatures written by Schnittke for his son Andrei. To my knowledge, this is the first time the entire suite is available on recording.

Svetlana Ponomareva recently received critical acclaim for her second CD Schubert/Liszt.
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