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Piano Sonatas

Samuil Feinberg Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, 2004 $22.53  
Audio CD, 2004 --  

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 30, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bis
  • ASIN: B00018D3TQ
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #448,809 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 1
2. Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 2
3. Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 3: I. Prelude. Lento assai, ma sempre inquieto e rubato molto
4. Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 3: II. Marcia Funebre. Lugubre e maestoso
5. Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 3: III. Sonata. Allegro appassionato
6. Piano Sonata No. 4, Op. 6
7. Piano Sonata No. 5, Op. 10
8. Piano Sonata No. 6, Op. 13

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Samuil Feinberg (1890-1962) is not a name most classical listeners are likely to come across. Music scholars would probably not even recognize him as a composer, but as the pianist who first concertized Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier in Russia. Beyond that, classical pianists may only recall Feinberg as a transcriber of Bach and Tchaikovsky's "Scherzo" movement from the 'Pathetique' Symphony. I certainly never stumbled across his name until reading Robert Rimm's The Composer-Pianists: Hamelin and The Eight. Rimm's flowery and Romantic writing on Feinberg elevated my curiosity. Feinberg's oeuvre is small and compact, with a few preludes, fantasies, and songs separating his monumental 12 Piano Sonatas. I took a gamble by purchasing this recording without sampling any of the music...

... and not since Hamelin's recording of the Alkan: Symphony for solo piano have I been so mesmerized and deeply moved by music that is virtually unknown to most musicologists and art-music connoisseurs. I find the "genius" description cliché, but I think Feinberg's early sonatas deserve the classification: they are works of startling originality and expressive power. The expressivity of Beethoven and the Mahleresque "symphony as a world" concept merge together in Feinberg's music. It's tempting to compare Feinberg's sonatas to Scriabin's or Roslavets' as another reviewer of this recording has done. The turbulent Russian Romantic idiom of Scriabin certainly resides in Feinberg's music. And the melancholic impressionism of Roslavets can also be heard. Yet somehow Feinberg's sonatas still sound like no other.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feinberg as Composer-Pianist February 25, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This CD features Samuel Feinberg's earliest efforts at published compositions. The first three sonatas on this CD are also his Op. 1,2, and 3. Feinberg is discussed in the book The Composer-Pianists: Hamelin and the Eight, by Robert Rimm,a work devoted to the pianists-composers Alkan, Busoni, Scriabin, Medtner, Rachmaninoff, Sorabji, Godowsky, and Feinberg. Feinberg's piano music has received little attention, e.g., sonata 1, 3, and 4 are world premiere recordings. This is surprising given the quality of Feinberg's piano compositions. His music seems close to Scriabin, Roslavets, and maybe Sorabji, but is more tonal than these. Sonatas 1 and 2 are tight works with short durations (6'50 and 9'01). Sonatas 4 and 5 and likewise short pieces (8'33 and 8'05), but are works of high imagination and orginality; one wonders why Feinberg's music has taken so long to catch hold. His third sonata is a three-movement work with a Marcia Funebre. The third movement is a spine tingling and exotic Allegro appassionato. The music goes from loud to soft, thunderous to light. The themes and their development reflect a composer of great intellect, and dashing and daring virtuosity. The pianists, Nikolaos Samaltanos and Christophe Sirodeau bring Feinberg's powerful piano music to vibrant life; the slow movements are played eloquently and sublimely. This CD contains some of the most orginal piano music of the early twentieth century, alongside Scriabin and Roslavets. The fourth, fifth, and sixth sonatas bear this out easily. A must for pianophiles. A second CD of Feinberg's sonatas, 7-12, accompanies this one, the same pianists and the same label, BIS.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feinberg-Sublime Metaphysical Music June 28, 2009
Format:Audio CD
A CD you'll never regret buying. Feinberg is one of the few composers able to write true mystic music
that reflects the deep mysteries of the soul. The Sixth Piano Sonata is without question a masterpiece, and in my opinion a revelation and testament to the power of music. Pay attention to the main theme at the outset: down a perfect fourth, and then down a tritone; this theme is ingrained everywhere throughout the piece; very very impressive. Now, I am a fan of Hexameron, but I must disagree on one point: this music is not tonal. There are chords used in tonal music, especially in the first, second, and third sonatas, but they are not used functionally. On occasion, you could use roman numeral analysis perhaps in the first or second, but this really would be like seeing only the trees, and not the forest; and ultimately a disservice to Feinberg's complex and original language. Technically, Feinberg's sixth is in "B minor"; but Feinberg is really just paying lip-service to this idea. Major and minor chords are really just a choice of punctuation. Schoenberg's Ode to Napoleon ends on an E-flat major chord, but does that mean his piece, secretly, all along, was in the key of E-flat major and is tonal? Good heavens no! Also, I disagree with the Rimms quote: "Feinberg's brand of musical poetry does not explore the rarefied, ephemeral, or sensuous [as in Scriabin], but rather focuses on the deeper psyche and problems of man." Scriabin's music has nothing to do with the sensous; this is a complete misunderstanding. Scriabin's music is 100 percent about the Spiritual life of man. It is not some shallow evocation of a hedonist.
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