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Jonathan Powell - Piano Music 1

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Piano Music 1

Alexander Goldenweiser

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Alexander Goldenweiser was one of the great founders of the "Russian Piano School," a tirelessly dedicated pedagogue who helped establish the very system of teaching piano in Russia that led to a number of successful, even legendary, concert artists. History often automatically remands the musical compositions belonging to those who teach to the historic dustbin of "those who can't" (i.e., compose music that goes beyond the rudimentary requirements of finger training). This is despite the fact that Franz Liszt, Ferruccio Busoni -- even Johann Sebastian Bach -- were all highly regarded as great teachers in addition to their welter of compositions and proficiency at the keyboard. While there was a lengthy pause in the middle of Goldenweiser's career in which he composed little or nothing, at either end he wrote quite a bit of music but did not do much on his own behalf to promote a reputation as a composer. Pianist Jonathan Powell, a former student of Goldenweiser's student Sulamita Aronovsky, has decided to pick up Goldenweiser's cudgel for him in recording Toccata Classics' Alexander Goldenweiser: Piano Music, Vol. 1. What is striking at the outset is that all of this music is first-rate from the first note. One might expect Goldenweiser, a student of Taneyev and close friend to Medtner, Rachmaninoff, and Scriabin who lived until 1961, to compose with success in a style decidedly already passé, in keeping with the tradition represented by his associates. In stark contrast to such expectation, there is nothing nostalgic or reactionary about Goldenweiser's music; it represents a unique and individual line of development from the established tradition to which he belonged and sounds totally fresh and new within such context. Not that one cannot associate it with familiar trends; Skazka, Op. 39 (1961), obviously is a tribute to Medtner, who developed the form of the Skazka, or Fairy-Tale. However, one can sense in Goldenweiser's harmonic preferences a common bond between Medtner and the approach of Goldenweiser's own student, composer Nikolai Kapustin. The Sonata-fantaziya, Op. 37, (1959) bears traces of the impact of Scriabin's Piano Sonata No. 2 in G sharp minor, Op. 19 (1897), but filtered through a much tougher harmonic profile than was Scriabin's in the 1890s. Most striking is the Contrapuntal Studies, Op. 12 (1932), a collection of very short pieces in all the major and minor keys and thought to be the first such set produced by a Russian composer. These demonstrate Goldenweiser's canonic mastery and pianistic brilliance, and yet they share some common ground with Busoni and the work of another Goldenweiser pupil, Samuel Feinberg. Missing links abound in Goldenweiser's music, and one wonders if he hadn't worked a little harder on its behalf if posterity might not have considered the value of it more highly than has been the case heretofore. As it is, Goldenweiser's music is completely unknown, but certainly ripe for rediscovery. Powell makes an excellent case for it; his playing is clean and respectful, generously expressive in the more romantically styled pieces, yet lithe, tart, and succinct in the Contrapuntal Sketches. Hopefully, this series will go far beyond the Vol. 1 indicated here; with the appetite whipped up with the highly engaging and illuminating statement made by Goldenweiser's music, it makes one hungry for the full course.
© TiVo

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Piano Music 1

Jonathan Powell

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Skazka (Folk Tale), Op. 39 (Alexander Goldenweiser)

1
Skazka (Folk Tale), Op. 39
00:07:20

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

Sonata-Fantaziya, Op. 37 (Alexander Goldenweiser)

2
Sonata-fantaziya, Op. 37
00:12:38

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

Kontrapunkticheskiye eskizi (Contrapuntal Sketches), Op. 12 (Alexander Goldenweiser)

3
Book I: No. 1, Prelude in C Major
00:01:30

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

4
Book I: No. 2, Fugue in C Minor
00:02:02

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

5
Book I: No. 3, Canon in D-Flat Major
00:01:23

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

6
Book I: No. 4, Prelude in C-Sharp Minor
00:01:56

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

7
Book I: No. 5, Fugue in D Major
00:01:49

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

8
Book I: No. 6, Canon in D Minor
00:01:04

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

9
Book I: No. 7, Prelude in E-Flat Major
00:02:00

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

10
Book I: No. 8, Fugue in E-Flat Minor
00:03:10

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

11
Book I: No. 9, Canon in E Major
00:00:53

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

12
Book I: No. 10, Prelude in E Minor
00:01:43

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

13
Book I: No. 11, Fugue in F Major
00:01:40

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

14
Book I: No. 12, Canon in F Minor
00:02:53

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

15
Book II: No. 13, Prelude in F-Sharp Major
00:02:54

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

16
Book II: No. 14, Fugue in F-Sharp Minor
00:02:59

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

17
Book II: No. 15, Canon in G Major
00:01:02

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

18
Book II: No. 16, Prelude in G Minor
00:02:59

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

19
Book II: No. 17, Fugue in A-Flat Major
00:04:05

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

20
Book II: No. 18, Canon in G-Sharp Minor
00:01:03

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

21
Book II: No. 19, Prelude in A Major
00:02:26

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

22
Book II: No. 20, Fugue in A Minor
00:04:00

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

23
Book II: No. 21, Canon in B-Flat Major
00:03:23

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

24
Book II: No. 22, Prelude in B-Flat Minor
00:04:53

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

25
Book II: No. 23, Fugue in B Major
00:02:07

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

26
Book II: No. 24, Canon in B Minor
00:03:47

Jonathan Powell, piano

(C) 2008 Toccata Classics (P) 2008 Toccata Classics

Albumbeschreibung

Alexander Goldenweiser was one of the great founders of the "Russian Piano School," a tirelessly dedicated pedagogue who helped establish the very system of teaching piano in Russia that led to a number of successful, even legendary, concert artists. History often automatically remands the musical compositions belonging to those who teach to the historic dustbin of "those who can't" (i.e., compose music that goes beyond the rudimentary requirements of finger training). This is despite the fact that Franz Liszt, Ferruccio Busoni -- even Johann Sebastian Bach -- were all highly regarded as great teachers in addition to their welter of compositions and proficiency at the keyboard. While there was a lengthy pause in the middle of Goldenweiser's career in which he composed little or nothing, at either end he wrote quite a bit of music but did not do much on his own behalf to promote a reputation as a composer. Pianist Jonathan Powell, a former student of Goldenweiser's student Sulamita Aronovsky, has decided to pick up Goldenweiser's cudgel for him in recording Toccata Classics' Alexander Goldenweiser: Piano Music, Vol. 1. What is striking at the outset is that all of this music is first-rate from the first note. One might expect Goldenweiser, a student of Taneyev and close friend to Medtner, Rachmaninoff, and Scriabin who lived until 1961, to compose with success in a style decidedly already passé, in keeping with the tradition represented by his associates. In stark contrast to such expectation, there is nothing nostalgic or reactionary about Goldenweiser's music; it represents a unique and individual line of development from the established tradition to which he belonged and sounds totally fresh and new within such context. Not that one cannot associate it with familiar trends; Skazka, Op. 39 (1961), obviously is a tribute to Medtner, who developed the form of the Skazka, or Fairy-Tale. However, one can sense in Goldenweiser's harmonic preferences a common bond between Medtner and the approach of Goldenweiser's own student, composer Nikolai Kapustin. The Sonata-fantaziya, Op. 37, (1959) bears traces of the impact of Scriabin's Piano Sonata No. 2 in G sharp minor, Op. 19 (1897), but filtered through a much tougher harmonic profile than was Scriabin's in the 1890s. Most striking is the Contrapuntal Studies, Op. 12 (1932), a collection of very short pieces in all the major and minor keys and thought to be the first such set produced by a Russian composer. These demonstrate Goldenweiser's canonic mastery and pianistic brilliance, and yet they share some common ground with Busoni and the work of another Goldenweiser pupil, Samuel Feinberg. Missing links abound in Goldenweiser's music, and one wonders if he hadn't worked a little harder on its behalf if posterity might not have considered the value of it more highly than has been the case heretofore. As it is, Goldenweiser's music is completely unknown, but certainly ripe for rediscovery. Powell makes an excellent case for it; his playing is clean and respectful, generously expressive in the more romantically styled pieces, yet lithe, tart, and succinct in the Contrapuntal Sketches. Hopefully, this series will go far beyond the Vol. 1 indicated here; with the appetite whipped up with the highly engaging and illuminating statement made by Goldenweiser's music, it makes one hungry for the full course.
© TiVo

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