Diana Baker's tone is sparkling, never ugly or brassy, and she navigates her way through Gubaidulina´s muscular virtuosity with the finesse of a Russian ballerina. An important recording.Haskins / American Record Guide
Sofia Gubaidulina (b. 1931), growing up in the Tatar Republic, bound peculiar fusion of Eastern and Western into dramatic polarities in her later work. She graduated from the Kazan' Conservatory in 1954 having studied composition and piano; she then left for Moscow, where she studied at the Conservatory with Nikolay Peyko until 1959, and then with Shebalin until 1963. Already by this time, Gubaidulina was marked as an "irresponsible" composer on "a mistaken path"; Shostakovich, among others, supported her however, advising her to "continue along [her] mistaken path." Today Gubaidulina is a successful freelance composer, having won a number of prestigious composition prizes and grants.
"Andreas Haefliger is a musician first and pianist second. He is a pianist to watch but, more importantly, he is a pianist to listen to."―Chicago Tribune
The works on this disc comprise Sofia Gubaïdulina's complete solo piano output. They come from her early mature period in the sixties and seventies, yet they pre-date her international rise to prominence that occurred in the eighties and nineties. Though they lack the unusual instrumental disposition Gubaïdulina often revels in, these piano works bear all the hallmarks of spiky rhythm and harmony, unusual instrumental colouring, and hardy Russian poeticism, that are so richly apparent in her other music.
Richard Wagner's reputation rests on his tetralogy, Der Ring des Nibelungen, and the other music dramas he created, including Lohengrin, Tannhäuser, Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Parsifal, which revolutionized all aspects of late Romantic music and left their mark on modern music as well. Yet there is a small body of non-operatic works that shows a more relaxed Wagner working on a much smaller scale: his Siegfried Idyll for chamber orchestra, a group of songs, and a collection of pieces for piano. This double CD by Pier Paolo Vincenzi presents Wagner's complete piano music with three sonatas, a large-scale fantasia, and eleven short pieces that show the composer's attempts at finding a more personal and intimate voice.