Nikolai Peyko: Complete Piano Music, Volume One

The Russian composer Nikolai Peyko (1916-95) studied with Myaskovsky at the Moscow Conservatoire, where he later became Shostakovich's teaching assistant and then an important teacher in his own right. Peyko's piano music shares Shostakovich's fondness for irony and Prokofiev's for driving march-rhythms and playful good humour and, as with so many Russian composers, the sound of bells can often be heard. Each of the two CDs in this complete recording of his piano music ends with one of Peyko's two works for two pianos — the first time that any of this music has been heard in its entirety.

Dmitry Korostelyov, piano
Maria Dzhemesiuk, piano

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Catalogue No: TOCC0104
EAN/UPC: 5060113441041
Release Date: 02.06.2014
Composer: Nikolai Peyko
Artists: Dmitry Korostelyov, Maria Dzhemesiuk

1 review for Nikolai Peyko: Complete Piano Music, Volume One

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    ‘The Ballada is a smokily dangerous, evocative piece suggesting a sinister Islamey-style world. The post-war four-movement Piano Sonata No 1 is a sharp-edged essay from a harder world. It is terse, halting, ruthless, forbidding and even inhuman. There’s a more yielding relief in something close to Beethovenian romance in the finale but the piano part is prone to flinty episodes. The little Variations from 1957 are tough and stony. The two movement Sonatina No. 2, from the same year as the Variations, is studiously more accessible – music of chimes, marches and shafts of tragedy. There’s an engaging shade of Prokofiev’s Classical in the second and last movement. Wind forward to 1966 for the brilliant single-movement Bylina, a display in obsidian harsh virtuosity. Into the 1970s for the 10-minute Piano Sonata No 2 in three movements. Several times this makes a feint in the direction of Bylina‘s pile-driving style but makes time for softer fantasy – and not only in the central Moderato. … The concluding two- piano Concert Triptych (1986) is in three very impressive movements. The first declaims and rings out heroically and then turns on a sixpence to explore tenderness one moment and a flighty troika ride the next. The long central Nocturne is at times like viewing the second movement of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 through a soft focus lens. It’s not as sentimental as the equivalent movement in Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto but it comes close. Its final Waltz-Poem is resolutely cheery and determinedly out of sorts with the type of writing you might expect to have been written in 1986. The Concert-Triptych is a complete triumph and should be taken up by accomplished young pianists everywhere. Well done to Korostelyov and Dzhemesiuk generally for their work on these two discs but also for taking up this specific work. … The performances on these two discs [vol. 1 and vol. 2] appear confident and feel convincing – indeed masterly. The engineers have secured full spectrum sound within which Peyko’s extremes of violence, harshness and tenderness are happily accommodated. Those curious about Soviet music of these unstable years and who wonder what there is beyond Shostakovich and Prokofiev but before Gubaidulina and Schnittke should seek out these two rewarding discs [vol. 1 and vol. 2].’ –Music Web International, June 2016

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