For this Alpha-Classics album of modernist music arranged for two pianos, Alexei Lubimov and Slava Poprugin play four essential works that yield some surprises in their keyboard versions. Three of the pieces are transcriptions of instrumental music, specifically Igor Stravinsky's arrangement of his Concerto in E flat major, "Dumbarton Oaks," John Cage's reduction of Erik Satie's Socrate, and Darius Milhaud's four-hand transcription of Satie's Cinéma (composed as a soundtrack for the short Dadaist film Entr'acte, used in the ballet Relâche), with Stravinsky's Concerto for two pianos solo performed as it was originally written.
"This compact disc presents all the studio recordings that remain from a time when, as a twenty-five year old champion of the avant-garde, I had to seek for every possible occasion of playing the new works of our composers. In those days, they were hounded and ripped apart by ideological critics; now they are recognized as the masters of new music. Audiences today need to realize with how much excitement and trust people discovered and took over the new currents seeping in from Europe through the Iron Curtain. These works represent and symbolize a marvelous epoch of friendship, a time when we came to know new horizons and discovered ourselves in the Soviet Union's huge, heterogeneous spaces." (Alexei Lubimov. May 2003)
Two books of Debussy’s piano preludes were composed in 1910 and 1913, respectively. Unlike similar opuses by Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin and others, they had no tonal sequence, and each piece was conceived as an individual work. In whole, the cycle is a sort of concise encyclopedia of the great French composer’s music with its fanciful and sophisticated, but so imperceptibly attractive combination of romanticism and impressionism, centuries-old traditions of piano music and cultural paradoxes of the 20th century. The titles Debussy gave to each of the preludes (they are sooner poetic metaphors) are put in the end rather than in the beginning of the notes and not intended to impose a certain character on the listener. Instead, they seem to ask riddles as if they check whether the mood of a piece is caught correctly. Debussy’s preludes found a fine and thoughtful interpreter in the person of Alexei Lyubimov.
Under the aegis of its now acting artistic director, Alexei Ratmansky, the Bolshoi Theatre Ballet Company, continues its foray into the history of Russian ballet with a revival of The Flames of Paris. Les Flammes de Paris is a two act classical ballet by Boris Asafiev based on songs of the French Revolution, originally choreographed by Vasily Vainonen for the Kirov in 1932 and reconstructed in 2008 by Alexei Ratmansky for the Bolshoi Ballet.
In this workshop Alexei Antonov will show and explain how to paint one of the most complicated textures in still life painting, Claret Grapes. He will lead you through the actual painting of Claret Grapes from start to finish, giving the detailed explanation of all the stages of the Flemish painting style, beginning with drawing, imprimatura, and the umbra layer. Special attention will be given to color layers where the texture is born. Detailed step by step instructions will help you create a piece of art so realistic that people will be drawn to smell and touch it.
The workshop explains and demonstrates the Flemish technique in the process of painting a portrait of a beautiful young woman. I believe that the quality of the color layer and the likeness to the model in this portrait are exceptional (working in front of the camera, perhaps, makes one concentrate better).