Alexander Goldenweiser: Piano Music, Volume One

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Catalogue No: TOCC0044
EAN/UPC: 5060113440440
Release Date: 2008-08-24
Composer: Alexander Goldenweiser
Artists: Jonathan Powell

Alexander Goldenweiser (1875–1961) is remembered as a major pianist, one of the founders of the Russian school of playing, and a friend of Rachmaninov, Scriabin and Tolstoy. He was also a prolific composer but rarely played his own works in public. His Contrapuntal Sketches, written in the early 1930s, are probably the first Russian cycle of polyphonic pieces encompassing all the major and minor keys; they fuse Goldenweiser’s compositional and pianistic virtuosity with an empathy for Russian folksong. The Sonata-Fantasia presents other, contrasting facets of his complex personality: although demonstrating his link to the Russian Romantics, it is resolutely modern and original. Jonathan Powell studied with one of Goldenweiser’s students, Sulamita Aronovsky.

Jonathan Powell, piano

Listen To This Recording:

  1. Skazka (Folk Tale), Op. 39 (1961)
  2. Sonata-fantaziya, Op. 37 (1961)
  3. Kontrapunkticheskiye ėskizï (Contrapuntal Sketches), Op. 12 (1961)

  4. No. 1, Prelude: Moderato, C major
  5. No. 2, Fugue: Andante, C minor
  6. No. 3, Canon: Tranquillo, D flat major
  7. No. 4, Prelude: Adagio, C sharp minor
  8. No. 5, Fugue: Allegro moderato, D major
  9. No. 6, Canon: Allegro non troppo, D minor
  10. No. 7, Prelude: Andante con moto, E flat major
  11. No. 8, Fugue: Andante sostenuto, E flat minor
  12. No. 9, Canon: Allegro non troppo, E major
  13. No. 10, Prelude: Con moto, E minor
  14. No. 11, Fugue: Allegro moderato, F major
  15. No. 12, Canon: Andante espressivo, F minor
  16. No. 13, Prelude: Andante non troppo, F sharp minor
  17. No. 14, Fugue: Andante, F sharp minor
  18. No. 15, Canon: Con moto, scherzando, G major
  19. No. 16, Prelude: Moderato, G minor
  20. No. 17, Fugue: Molto tranquillo, A flat major
  21. No. 18, Canon: Allegretto, G sharp minor
  22. No. 19, Prelude: Tempo risoluto, A major
  23. No. 20, Fugue: Andante con poco mosso, A minor
  24. No. 21, Canon: Andante, B flat major
  25. No. 22, Prelude: Molto tranquillo, B flat minor
  26. No. 23, Fugue: Allegro non troppo, B major
  27. No. 24, Canon: Andante molto tranquillo, B minor

3 reviews for Alexander Goldenweiser: Piano Music, Volume One

  1. :

    Great music by this famous pianist, not so famous composer. The Contrapuntal sketches are a fantastic set, why this work is not more often performed is beyond me. Powell’s playing is not less impressive. Goldenweiser’s piano music is truly is a hidden gem, and this cd is proof of it.

  2. :

    ‘There is an element of lineage around this recording. The excellent Jonathan Powell has championed the music of Sorabji so much[…] Powell is a student of the renowned pedagogue Sulamita Aronovsky, who herself is a student of Goldenweiser himself. As at the Sorabji concert, Powell provides his own booklet notes. He writes beautifully and knowledgeably. […]

    This is an important disc.’

    —Colin Clarke, MusicWeb International

  3. :

    ‘The Skaza (after Medtner’s) and Sonata-fantaziya are substantial, characterful works, the latter in memory of Goedicke appropriately ‘sombre and stark’ – [Powell, whose PhD was on early 20 C. Russian music].

    The contrapuntal sketches are more overly didactic, some of the later ones very difficult to play. […] [a disk]of considerable general interest and presented with thorough background information prepared by the pianist, who is well recorded in a Kent studio, 2006. Powell plays all this music convincingly, helped by his choice of a Bosendorfer Phoenix piano for these recordings.’

    —Peter Grahame Woolf, Musical Pointers

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