"What a talented and versatile composer Kats-Chernin is.
As Christopher Latham explains in his informative liner notes, Kats-Chernin began writing small miniatures in the mid-1990s to relax from the demands of composing her serious, large-scale works. Almost half of Ragtime & Blue consists of rags and Kats-Chernin shows a complete understanding of the style. Imbued with trademark syncopations, her rags are largely melancholy and wistful in mood, although Cocktail Rag, written for the winemaking Lehmann family, has a jaunty, charming Palm Court Orchestra feel to it.
Esewhere, the focus shifts between reflective, energetic and exotic. Five of the numbers are taken from Kats-Chernin’s award-wining ballet score Wild Swans, with the memorable Butterflying evoking a child’s world of dreams with haunting intensity.
Violinist Nicola Sweeney and pianist Sarah Nicolls are sensitive and persuasive performers, capturing the character and atmosphere of each piece.
Nicolls also shows that she is an accomplished interpreter of ragtime. A delightful and enjoyable disc."
Limelight Magazine - July 2005
"Russian born Australian composer Elena Kats Chernin’s salon pieces project her overriding concern for expressive communication. Sarah Nicolls and Nicola Sweeney’s performances reveal the mix of open emotion and irony in Kats-Chernin’s miniatures for violin and piano. The album’s rags share common ground with the music of Shostakovich’s famous jazz suites, Classic FM has taken to this album, with presenter Natalie Wheen devoting considerable air time to its contents."
Music Week - 16 July 2005
"When big-time composers take time off to enjoy themselves you’d reckon the music should be pretty good fun. And it certainly is with Elena Kats-Chernin, one of Australia’s leading names. Heart-meltingly beautiful and haunting little pieces, often with a personal story as their inspiration, just pour from her prodigious imagination in Ragtime & Blue."
Classic FM Magazine
".... Ragtime and Blue the work of composer Elena Kats-Chernin with Sarah Nicholls piano and Nicola Sweeny – violin. Signum Records UK. Elena Kats-Chernin was a child in Uzbekistan and has risen to become one of Australia’s busiest composers, writing for orchestral and chamber music, choral works operas, theatre, film and dance scores as well as pieces for the opening ceremonies of Sydney 2000 Olympics and the 2003 Rugby Cup. She aims undoubtedly for beauty in her compositions and seeks an addictive quality as in something you can listen to again and again and not tire of. This quality is delivered in spades in this recording. Please go treat yourself."
Cityscape - June 2006
"The Uzbekistan-born Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin must be one of Helmut Lachenmann’s least conventional composition pupils. On the basis of this disc, and other recent scores, she has abandoned his modernist aesthetic in favour of greater stylistic diversity. The disc also shows that rags and other pieces in popular style form a small, but significant facet of her extensive output.
As with many jazz compilations, this disc is probably best appreciated a little at a time, though variety is achieved by sharing the performances between two pianists and a violinist. Some of the items are distinctly original, and it is worth noting that at least one was written for a cocktail party. A glass of wine, or a "swift half" would make ideal companions for this music."
No User Reviews Found.