PROKOFIEV: Piano Concerto No. 4 in B-flat Op. 5 4, Piano
Concerto No. 5 in G, Op. 55,
MEIJERING: Concerto Movements for Eagle Recorder and Strings.
ROMAN: Six Sonatas. AGRELL: Sonata II in C.
Valery Gergiev and his brilliant Mariinsky Orchestra continue their
Prokofiev series. Over the yers the fiery Russian conducto has recorded
a ll seven symphonies with the London Symphony, and many other works,
Including the 5 piano concertos with Alexander Toradze and the Kirov
Orchestra. He also has recordings or videos of the operas War and
Peace, Betrothal in a Monastery, Kotko, The Love for Three Oranges, The
Angel, The Gambler, Ivan the Terrible. and , of course, Alexander
There are videos of the ballets Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella.
On these superb new SACDs Gergiev
is redoing much of this repertory for SACD. He alredy
has a superb recording of Piano Concerto No. 3 with Denis Matsuev (REVIEW) .
Now we have Piano Concerto No. 4 for
the left hand, with Alexei Volodin (b. 1977), abd Concerto No. 5,
with Armenian-American Sergei Babayan (b.1961). Both pianists have won
a number of important prizes and and given many concerts in Europe. Volodin
surely impresses on this recording of Concerto No. 4 challenging Leon
Fleisher who virtually owns it and has played it countless times over
the past 3 decades and recorded it with Ozawa and the Boston Symphony.
Last season Babayan appeared at the BBC Proms with Gergiev and the LSO
playing two Prokofiev concertos. He gives a powerful convincing performance
of the craggy Concerto No. 5, the least performed of the five. Tthe challenging
the famous 2 Richter recordings of 1958 and 1970.
The recorder has been around for centuries. The unique sound has attracted
many composers inclyuding Bach, Monteverdi, Handel, Hindemith, Britten
and Berio. There are different sizes, and each has a slightly different
Adriana Breukink loved the recorder but wanted an nstrument with a wider range
and more sonority. After much experimentation, this resuoted in a larger instrument
with more keys and a richer sound. Of course she need to have music that would
displayl the possibilities of this new instrument which was called the “eagle
recorder.” She approached Dutch composer Chiel Meijering (b. 1954) and
he who specialized in music for small ensembles, and agreed to write a major
work for her. His Concerto Movements for Eagle Recorder and Strings actually
is a 15-movement suite. The composer’s sense of humor is evident in some
of the titles:
R.E.B. (February 2016)