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Galina Ustvolskaya: Complete Piano Music / Ivan Sokolov, piano

Album Summary

>Ustvolskaya, Galina : Sonata for Piano no 1
>Ustvolskaya, Galina : Sonata for Piano no 2
>Ustvolskaya, Galina : Sonata for Piano no 3
>Ustvolskaya, Galina : Sonata for Piano no 4
>Ustvolskaya, Galina : Sonata for Piano no 5
>Ustvolskaya, Galina : Sonata for Piano no 6
>Ustvolskaya, Galina : Preludes (12) for piano
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Galina Ustvolskaya was Shostakovich's favorite pupil, to whom he is known to have said, "You are a phenomenon, while I am but a talent." Ustvolskaya's piano works - uncompromising granite sculptures - feature sharp and extreme dynamic contrasts, cluster chords and use of the extreme registers of the keyboard, while the spiritual message is one of infinite despair and passionate protest (whether against the Soviet regime, or against human existence in general). Russian pianist and composer Ivan Sokolov was one of Ustvolskaya's favored interpreters, giving his performance here a monumental and authoritative stamp of authenticity.

American Record Guide, July/August 2013
This is the complete piano music of Galina Ustvolskaya (1919-2006), spanning the years 1947-1988. There are 6 Piano Sonatas, the longest running just 16 minutes. 1 (1947) is in four concise movements, the total scheme more or less corresponding to classical norms: I is dramatic, II a sort of scherzo, and III a slow movement. The work is a formidable first shot at the genre. 2 (1949) is in just two movements, totaling 10 minutes. The slow I could almost be by Prokofieff in a particularly austere mood. This one seems closest in spirit to the work of her admiring mentor Shostakovich, who actually became her lover as well as her teacher. II and IV have punchy stabs and trembling trills. The opening one deals with registral extremes and divisions. Finally, the seven-minute No. 6 (1988) begins with a funky cluster march, is briefly contrasted with a very brief and quiet chorale. These sonatas form a remarkable group and turn out to be a consistent take on the Russian modern music tradition, even with Ustvolskaya's radical extensions and avantgardist language. It's not hard to see why Shostakovich was impressed by this remarkable music. The 12 Preludes (1953) last about 15 minutes and take up the entire second disc. Mr Sokolov plays these extremely difficult pieces with sympathy and impressive technique.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Moscow Radio Recording Studios, Moscow, Russia (10/1995).



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Works Details

>Ustvolskaya, Galina : Sonata for Piano no 1
  • Performer: Ivan Sokolov (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1947

>Ustvolskaya, Galina : Sonata for Piano no 2
  • Performer: Ivan Sokolov (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1949

>Ustvolskaya, Galina : Sonata for Piano no 3
  • Performer: Ivan Sokolov (Piano)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1952

>Ustvolskaya, Galina : Sonata for Piano no 4
  • Performer: Ivan Sokolov (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1957

>Ustvolskaya, Galina : Sonata for Piano no 5
  • Performer: Ivan Sokolov (Piano)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1986

>Ustvolskaya, Galina : Sonata for Piano no 6
  • Performer: Ivan Sokolov (Piano)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1988

>Ustvolskaya, Galina : Preludes (12) for piano
  • Performer: Ivan Sokolov (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1953