Balakirev's Complete Piano Music

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pizza
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Balakirev's Complete Piano Music

Post by pizza » Mon Jul 25, 2005 8:26 am

I recently bought Brilliant Classics' 6 CD complete set of Balakirev's piano music (licensed from Ess a y Records) and played by Alexander Paley, a thoughtful and mature Russian pianist now living in the West. Almost every pianophile is familiar with his Islamey, a technical tour de force second to none; however, there is a wealth of excellent music written for the piano contained in this set that is relatively unknown and very much worth hearing, not the least of which is his absolutely stunning Piano Sonata in B flat minor, a major work of its time. I can't understand why it isn't represented in the repertoire of most pianists. This set was quite reasonably priced (6 CDs for $25.00) and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Russian music and excellent pianism.

Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Mon Jul 25, 2005 8:32 am

I have the original ES.SAY releases and fully endorse the Brilliant re-release.

Brilliant is often...Brilliant. :)
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oisfetz
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Post by oisfetz » Mon Jul 25, 2005 8:58 am

I have a great version of the sonata by late Ronald Smith, now 00P. Beautiful work, and nobody plays it.

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Post by Peter Schenkman » Mon Jul 25, 2005 1:14 pm

Another take on the Balakirev First Sonata can be found on the Ivory Classics label by the remarkable Earl Wild. Title of the album, “Earl Wild at 88”(CD-73005) and recorded in 2003. Mr. Wild doesn’t have to apologize for his age; most pianists of 44 are put to shame.

Peter Schenkman
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:11 pm

Peter Schenkman wrote:Another take on the Balakirev First Sonata can be found on the Ivory Classics label by the remarkable Earl Wild. Title of the album, “Earl Wild at 88”(CD-73005) and recorded in 2003. Mr. Wild doesn’t have to apologize for his age; most pianists of 44 are put to shame.

Peter Schenkman

I really enjoy his pyrotechnics. He's a stunning pianist that usually makes my hair stand on end. Herr Direktor introduced me to his pianism.
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Werner
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Post by Werner » Mon Jul 25, 2005 5:50 pm

This may be a bit off subject for this thread, but we heard Earl Wild at the Keyboard Festival at Mannes on Sunday. Donald has been paying attention to this Festival and managed to get the three of us in. And what an exciting evening it was!

I'll get to the music (the first half of the program) in a second - but there was also interest in the interview by David Dubal with "Earl the Pearl" after intermission. Mr. Wild will be 90 on November 29, and will celebrate the occasion with a Carnegie Hall recital. What was striking to me was that he had quadruple bypass surgery nine months ago, and told of coming to the piano and being unable to do anything. But as he put it, he "wouldn't take No for an answer" - and he certainly showed that he can still play the piano. What effort it must have cost him to get back into shape - and at his age -is hard to imagine.

He began with Beethoven - the Sonata in D, op,. 10 No 3 - a terrific performance with a wonderfully impressive second movement. In the interview, Dubal praised this and emphasized the slow movement, with Wild replying that he recorded this sonata years ago and didn't like that recordig any more. No reason for complaint on this one!

Liszt (Jeu D'Eau a la Villa D'Este) was followed by Chopin (the Third Ballade and the Pantasie Impromptu) and Wild's virtuosic and powerful arrangement of the Mexican Hat Dance. No wonder the audience went Wild!

Sorry to digress from Balakirev - but I thought I should tell you this while we're thinking of "Earl the Pearl."
Werner Isler

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