Anatoly Alexandrov (1888-1982) is one of the forgotten figures of the Russian school of pianism that embraced Taneyev, Rachmaninov, Skryabin, Shostakovich, Gilels and so many other composers and pianists. Alexandrov composed fourteen sonatas and much else for piano in an attractive late-Romantic style that owes much to Nikolai Medtner, his teacher and friend. The reviewer for MusicWeb International called Vol. 1 of this series a 'superb debut-disc' and commented that Kyung-ah Noh 'plays with immense power when called for, but is equally able to command the subtlest “pianissimo”.
Kyung-Ah Noh, piano
Two Passages from the Music to M. Maeterlinck’s Drama ‘Ariana and Bluebeard’, Op. 16a (1923) https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0216/TOCC0216t04.mp3
Piano Sonata No. 4 in C major, Op. 19 (1922, rev. 1954) https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0216/TOCC0216t06.mp3
Piano Sonata No. 6 in G major, Op. 26 (1926) https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0216/TOCC0216t10.mp3
Little Suite No. 1, Op. 33 (1929) https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0216/TOCC0216t13.mp3
Catalogue No: TOCC0216EAN/UPC: 5060113442161Release Date: 03.11.2014Composer: Anatoly Alexandrov Artists: Kyung-Ah Noh
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Rob Barnett :
“…The pianist chosen — more accurately perhaps she chose Alexandrov — is handsomely suited to this music which gloriously bestrides the romantic and the impressionistic worlds and does so with wholly Russian intensity and often subtle majesty. …Take the two pieces op. 3 – each a meaty essay. They have a dreamy dominance which comes as no surprise in the Nocturne but which carries over into the Waltz. The single movement Second Sonata is impetuous and stormy. It is well suited to stand alongside the Rachmaninov Etudes–tableaux. Kyung-Ah Noh presents it unfalteringly with a sense of a single articulated span of thought and emotional epiphany…[Fourth Sonata] Melancholy reflection and even Slavonic gloom is to be found in the central Andante meditativo. The First Sonata – Sonata-Skazka dates from 1914 and treats us to a substantial confection of tremulous romance (tr. 9 1:18) and glistening rainbow textures. …The Sixth Sonata (1926) is in three movements, each lasting about five minutes. The same iridescent colours and eddies of poetic mood are to be heard in the first and last movements but a more stark yet endearing embrace with melody comes to the fore in the Adagio. The finale indulges in a Prokofiev-like grotesquerie and brilliance. …If your taste runs to Rachmaninov and then to Medtner — or possibly the other way around — here is a composer and a series you owe it to yourself to pursue. Alexandrov, Kyung-Ah Noh and Toccata – none of them will disappoint.” MusicWeb International
Barry Brenesal :
“… The performances of Kyung-An Noh display a fine grasp of the music’s style. Flexible phrasing goes hand in hand with rhythms that are never allowed to sag. Inner voices are articulated well. The flow of the music moves gracefully under her hands, and her technique has no issues with the demands of the music’s most difficult pages. She is an excellent colorist, too, and one who refuses to lose sight of structure in Alexandrov’s more bewitching harmonic moments. The sound is full, closer than I’ve heard on several Toccata Classics discs, and all to the good. In short, this is an intriguing release of music by one of those tortoises of Soviet music who guarded their talents and mouths and laid as low as possible. Some were hacks, but Alexandrov clearly wasn’t. Recommended.” Fanfare
Seth Blacklock :
Just wanted to say that the December release of Hymns and Prayers by Sviridov is quite simply breathtaking. The sound is impeccable, the liner notes informative and engaging as ever, but most importantly, the music and the performance are profoundly moving. The disc is certainly among the best in my modest collection and I will return to it again and again. The music is every bit a worthy successor to Rachmaninov’s Vespers. Thank you Martin and Toccata Classics for introducing me to this glorious music.
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