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C. P. E. Bach: Viola da gamba Sonatas / Kouzov, Laul

Album Summary

>Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel : Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Basso Continuo in C major, Wq 136/H 558
>Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel : Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Basso Continuo in D major, Wq 137/H 559
>Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel : Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord in G minor, Wq 88/H 510
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

An interview with cellist Dmitry Kouzov – conducted by Sean Hickey
You grew up in St. Petersburg. What first drew you to music and to the cello? And how did your musical education progress in the former Soviet Union?

Actually, being honest, I started to play cello by an accident (a good one I still hope). Though, I was born in a musical family - my mother is a piano teacher and my father is an amateur pianist- none of my parents wanted to make a musician out of me. When I was in a first grade at elementary school I remember one lady came to the class and asked if there is anybody who would like to study music. I was a good boy and raised my hand. She gave me an invitation for the entrance exam which I put in my uniform's pocket and forgot about it. Sometime later my grandma was cleaning my school uniform and found this piece of paper in still somehow readable condition. The next day I was supposed to go to this exam and she tried to teach me how to sing a song and repeat rhythmic exercises in a big rush. I successfully passed the test and the next step was to choose an instrument to play. That is when another accident has occurred. Right after the exam another lady came to me and asked to show her my hands and that was what I did. She said that I have "hands of a cellist". Right now, when I already have some teaching experience myself, I seriously doubt that such a thing exists in a world as "cello hands". So, I still don't know what was the reason - my "cello hands" or her need to expand her studio. In any event, that was my first step in getting music education. After a few months studying cello, my uncle brought me to St. Petersburg Philharmonic to hear a Natalia Gutman's cello recital. My impression was so big so I still remember the beauty of her sound at this concert and I think that this event had a great impact on my will to practice at least few minutes a day in order to scratch a sound of somehow bearable qualities from my 1/4 cello. I spent my first four years in one of the local music schools studying with the lady who complemented my hands and who successfully planted a seed of interest toward the cello- Lilia Mochalova was her name and than entered the Lyceum of St. Petersburg Conservatory where I have studied with a wonderful teacher and simply a great person Mark Reizenshtock for another 6 years. Right after I entered the Conservatory Lyceum my path toward the professional music education was unavoidable- the music education in this school was very intense (sometimes even at the cost of a regular one). Almost, I think, 100 % of its students became professional musicians, so I was forced to pursue my education in music which I still don't regret.

At what point did you decide to leave Russia and come abroad? And where did you go and for what reasons?

Right after "perestroyka", life in Russia was not too easy and, because of that, a lot of best Russian musicians left to the West. Thus, as strange as it was, in order to receive a cello education on the level of, let me say, Moscow conservatory prior to perestroyka, at the age of 16 I had to go to Helsinki to study at the Sibelius Academy. The main reason for this move was my teacher there - Victoria Yagling. She is a brilliant cellist and a very interesting composer, student of Rostropovich and, if I'm not mistaken, Khrennikov and Kabalevsky. I spent almost 6 years there, received my Master's Degree and tried to learn from her as much as I could. Then, after a one-year break, I decided to polish my education at Juilliard where I earned my Artist Diploma and was a student of Joel Krosnick, who is a wonderful and a very rare combination of a first-class musician and human being of the same quality, as well as his former student and a extremely gifted cellist and teacher himself, Darrett Adkins. They both introduced me to the American school of cello playing and since that I try to combine the advantages of both schools.

Can you tell me what some of your goals are as a musician? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

What is very important for me as a musician, is to constantly try to have a certain message behind the sounds I make in order to express thoughts and emotions I have, and what I believe composer had. For me the sound is a bridge between me and listeners and in order to send a clear message I have to perfect my "communication skills". And this is an endless process. So, that's basically where I go and what also helps me to get closer to my other goal as a musician which is to keep and develop interest in "serious" music as much as possible. It is now, I think, is more important than ever before and should be a first thing for any musician.

Where do I see myself in 10 years? There are two things which I enjoy most in music- playing for people and sharing my ideas and ideals with others, which means for me teaching. I like a lot doing both and I'd love to continue doing it in a future in a good balance, so both parts will benefit from each other.

Thanks. One last question: I’d like to know more about your new Naxos release. How did you decide to record these lesser-known works of CPE Bach?

A few years ago I performed couple of times the G minor Sonata By C.P.E. and got to know that there are another two, but could not find the music to look at. I really loved the G minor one and assumed that other two should be also masterpieces. And I'm happy to say that I was right. Also, I did keep in mind that by bringing this really interesting, expressive and virtuosic music to the attention of classical music lovers and to my colleague-cellists particularly, I can try to help this, as you say, lesser-known but beautiful music to get back to concert life and to became a part of our regular performance repertoire. These sonatas really deserve it. That is also a reason why one of them is recorded with a modern piano - this music can be very enjoyable in many instrumental combinations which are not necessarily "historically" correct.



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Works Details

>Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel : Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Basso Continuo in C major, Wq 136/H 558
  • Performers: Dmitry Kouzov (Cello); Piotr Laul (Harpsichord)
  • Notes: St Petersburg State Capella Recording Studio, St Petersburg, Russia (05/26/2007-06/01/2007)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1745

>Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel : Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Basso Continuo in D major, Wq 137/H 559
  • Performers: Dmitry Kouzov (Cello); Piotr Laul (Harpsichord)
  • Notes: St Petersburg State Capella Recording Studio, St Petersburg, Russia (05/26/2007-06/01/2007)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1746

>Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel : Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord in G minor, Wq 88/H 510
  • Performers: Dmitry Kouzov (Cello); Piotr Laul (Piano)
  • Notes: St Petersburg State Capella Recording Studio, St Petersburg, Russia (05/26/2007-06/01/2007)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1759