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Roslavets: Cello Sonatas
01 Jan 2001
Originally recorded in 2000
Chamber (Maly) Hall of the Moscow Conservatory
Total Time - 55:45
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NIKOLAI ANDREYEVICH ROSLAVETS
Select Complete Single Disc for
Cello Sonata No. 1*
Andante affettuoso - Con moto - Lentoso
Allegretto Con moto - Più vivo - Tempo primo
Lento - Più mosso; fantastico - Tempo primo
Lento - Stretto (poco agitato) - Più tranquillo - Tempo primo - Più lento
Cello Sonata No. 2*
Moderato assai - Lentoso - Allegro mosso - Meno mosso - Poco più con moto - Tempo primo (Allegro mosso) - Maestoso - Meno mosso - Poco più con moto - Lento
Dance of the White Girls*
Moderato - Lento
Alexander Ivashkin is the intuitive soloist in four works by the Russian composer Roslavets.
This disc gathers together for the first time on CD the complete music for cello and piano by little-known composer Nikolai Roslavets.
Roslavets’s music is still relatively unknown both in Russia and in the West, although the recent discovery and publication of his works is beginning to rectify this. The complexity of Roslavets’s instrumental writing requires virtuoso performers, found here with Alexander Ivashkin and Tatyana Lazareva.
Alexander Ivashkin is a well-respected artist with many Chandos recordings already to his credit.
This disc marks the debut on Chandos of the young pianist Tatyana Lazareva. She was born in Moscow in 1977 into a family of musicians, her mother being the pianists Tamara Lazareva and her father the well-known conductor Alexander. She embarked on her concert career at the age of eleven, has performed with various orchestras both in Russia and abroad and has toured New Zealand, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and throughout Europe. Tayana graduated with distinction from the Moscow Conservatory in 2000.
Called ‘the Russian Schoenberg’ by the critic Evgeny Braudo, Roslavets was certainly a very Russian composer. His music, original and unusual even today, is in many respects related to the special post-Romantic world of his older contemporary Alexander Scriabin. Roslavets’s innovative ‘synthetic chord’ (though similar to Scriabin’s ’Prometheus chord’) is an early example of serial technique. The synthetic chord is a chord and a tone row at the same time and the only difference between this chord and Schoenberg’s tone row is that Roslavets never uses it to derive a ‘tune’ or a musical theme.
Roslavet’s musical forms are free and rhapsodic, yet he shaped his compositions very carefully; the cello sonatas give an excellent example of his economical and rationally concise approach to musical form. The Cello Sonata No. 1 is a rather short but highly condensed work in a single movement. Like Webern, Roslavets shapes the form by using the same thematic cells in different contexts. The Cello Sonata No. 2, again a work in a single movement, develops similar principles but on a larger scale. The themes and sections of the work are now much more contrasted. Roslavets is more revolutionary: cello and piano interact in a detailed polyphonic texture, both parts requiring great virtuosity from the performers.
Meditation is a more congenial piece to play and is in simple ternary form, the middle section a fugato involving both instruments. Dance of the White Girls is a typical impressionist piece in the manner of Debussy and similar to Roslavets’s Nocturne for five instruments composed at around the same time (1913). The Five Preludes for piano are the finest of Roslavets’s compositions for this instrument, clearly developing ideas found in Scriabin’s Five Preludes, Op. 74.
‘Alexander Ivashkin is a first-rate cellist…’
Hi-Fi News & Record Review on CHAN 9705 (Schnittke)
‘…Alexander Ivashkin makes the most of [the Cello Concerto’s] lyrical qualities. He is well supported by Valeri Polyansky and the orchestra…’
Gramophone on CHAN 9559 (Grechaninov)
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