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Nadia Shpachenko|The Poetry of Places

The Poetry of Places

Nadia Shpachenko

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This release earned a U.S. Grammy award for Best Compendium in 2020. Pianist Nadia Shpachenko, who teaches at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, is a fine, brilliant pianist in the Russian school, but the album's success is probably due more to the originality of its program. Classical piano pieces have been depicting places since the 19th century and even before, but the idea has rarely received a systematic exploration in contemporary terms, as it does here. Several of the pieces have an architectural focus, with two works, by Harold Meltzer and Andrew Norman, depicting structures by Frank Lloyd Wright. Some of the pieces, including Jack Van Zandt’s Sí an Bhrú, include electronics, while Hannah Lash's Give Me Your Songs takes the unusual step of depicting a composer's home, that of Aaron Copland. James Matheson's Alone, in waters shimmering and dark is a three-movement work addressed to the moods of a small upstate New York island house, while Lewis Spratlan's Bangladesh refers to a place writ large, and Nina C. Young's Kolokol is an entirely fresh approach to the depiction of bells, in this case, those at Harvard University. Amy Beth Kirsten's h.o.p.e. is perhaps most distant from the recording's theme (it refers to an art exhibition called "The Big Hope Show"), but it's a fascinating work of heterophony involving a conventional piano, a toy piano, and, briefly, the performer's voice, and it demands to be heard. With strong engineering from Skywalker Sound in California, this is a novel and enjoyable deployment of various contemporary compositional styles across a common theme.
© TiVo

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The Poetry of Places

Nadia Shpachenko

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Frank's House (Andrew Norman)

1
Frank's House
00:09:25

Andrew Norman, Composer - Nick Terry, Artist - Joanne Pearce Martin, Artist - Nadia Shpachenko, Artist, MainArtist - Cory Hills, Artist

(C) 2019 Reference Recordings (P) 2019 Reference Recordings

In Full Sail (Harold Meltzer)

2
In Full Sail
00:07:50

Harold Meltzer, Composer - Nadia Shpachenko, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 Reference Recordings (P) 2019 Reference Recordings

Sí an Bhrú (Jack Van Zandt)

3
Sí an Bhrú
00:11:53

Nadia Shpachenko, Artist, MainArtist - Jack Van Zandt, Composer, Artist

(C) 2019 Reference Recordings (P) 2019 Reference Recordings

Give Me Your Songs (Hannah Lash)

4
Give Me Your Songs
00:07:10

Hannah Lash, Composer - Nadia Shpachenko, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 Reference Recordings (P) 2019 Reference Recordings

h.o.p.e. (Amy Beth Kirsten)

5
h.o.p.e
00:06:13

Nadia Shpachenko, Artist, MainArtist - Amy Beth Kirsten, Composer

(C) 2019 Reference Recordings (P) 2019 Reference Recordings

Alone, in Waters Shimmering and Dark (James Matheson)

6
No. 1, Island
00:03:53

James Matheson, Composer - Nadia Shpachenko, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 Reference Recordings (P) 2019 Reference Recordings

7
No. 2, Capillary Waves
00:02:15

James Matheson, Composer - Nadia Shpachenko, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 Reference Recordings (P) 2019 Reference Recordings

8
No. 3, To Sky
00:02:53

James Matheson, Composer - Nadia Shpachenko, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 Reference Recordings (P) 2019 Reference Recordings

Bangladesh (Lewis Spratlan)

9
Bangladesh
00:15:02

Lewis Spratlan, Composer - Nadia Shpachenko, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 Reference Recordings (P) 2019 Reference Recordings

Kolokol (Nina C. Young)

10
Kolokol
00:11:07

Joanne Pearce Martin, Artist - Nadia Shpachenko, Artist, MainArtist - Nina C. Young, Composer, Artist

(C) 2019 Reference Recordings (P) 2019 Reference Recordings

Album review

This release earned a U.S. Grammy award for Best Compendium in 2020. Pianist Nadia Shpachenko, who teaches at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, is a fine, brilliant pianist in the Russian school, but the album's success is probably due more to the originality of its program. Classical piano pieces have been depicting places since the 19th century and even before, but the idea has rarely received a systematic exploration in contemporary terms, as it does here. Several of the pieces have an architectural focus, with two works, by Harold Meltzer and Andrew Norman, depicting structures by Frank Lloyd Wright. Some of the pieces, including Jack Van Zandt’s Sí an Bhrú, include electronics, while Hannah Lash's Give Me Your Songs takes the unusual step of depicting a composer's home, that of Aaron Copland. James Matheson's Alone, in waters shimmering and dark is a three-movement work addressed to the moods of a small upstate New York island house, while Lewis Spratlan's Bangladesh refers to a place writ large, and Nina C. Young's Kolokol is an entirely fresh approach to the depiction of bells, in this case, those at Harvard University. Amy Beth Kirsten's h.o.p.e. is perhaps most distant from the recording's theme (it refers to an art exhibition called "The Big Hope Show"), but it's a fascinating work of heterophony involving a conventional piano, a toy piano, and, briefly, the performer's voice, and it demands to be heard. With strong engineering from Skywalker Sound in California, this is a novel and enjoyable deployment of various contemporary compositional styles across a common theme.
© TiVo

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