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Nostalghia: Piano Works

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 4, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

"As usual, Lin's talent for creating enterprising programs is matched by intelligent musicianship, a technique that can handle anything, and a big, generous tone." -- ClassicsToday [10/10 rating! for HNS 98480]

The music of Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov is a unique and delicate tapestry of dramatic and emotional textures that freely alludes to the entire history of music. Beginning his creative career in the radical Soviet avant-garde, Silvestrov demonstrated an almost painful sensitivity to the intimacy that music can create between performer and listener. He would later refute his modernist roots, saying "the most important lesson of the avant-garde is to be free of all conceived ideas, particularly those of the avant-garde," and began composing a series of works entitled Postludium that initiated the elegiac, poetic, and highly personal relationship with silence which has come to characterize his most recent music.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 4, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Haenssler Classics
  • ASIN: B000S0GZXI
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #472,037 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By scarecrow VINE VOICE on July 23, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Jenny Lin is exceptional in the new piano repertoire she cultivates,with CDs as representations, from the early Russian,pre-post Bolshevik composers of questionable committments there,yet it was a music we would have never encountered. She also picks on the younger generation of composers from New York City, Elliott Sharp, his harder-edge motoric piano to Dublin,the music of Donnacha Dennehy, to her own native China,the talented orchestrator Guan Xin, and Ma Yo Dao; All are exceptional in the voices they discover in the piano's treacherous resonances.
Here now she picks on/up on the celebrated symphonist Valetin Silvestrov, a pianist himself, has written gorgeous music here, but not always facile, this is the language of simplicity discovered;Since the paradogm of culture is in stasis,the aesthetic in exile; the lyrical voice pretends it knows more, it always knwos more,and has relished in introspective, seclusion many times in romanticism, a welcome comfort zone to musical serious music;away from the tyrannies of modernity; this we find here quite obviously, as Silvestrov's miniature 'omaggios' the young Chopin writing in exile, or the secluded Robert Schumann; They all make appearances here someplace within the subjectivity of the composer.

Much of the music herein is all quite recent, as the legend piece, "Nostalghia"(2001), a plaintive hopeful-like simple piece, a melody surrounded by silences. These spaces are to go unnoticed, for Silvestrov's music loves the relative freedom of space, there is much of it where he lives in his native Ukraine,although it's questioanble where they want to be, in the West or the East.

His more advanced yet meadering "Elegy" is not in fact here.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Until a couple of weeks ago I never heard of composer Valentin Silvestrov. So Jenny Lin's recording of some of his pieces turned out to be a delightful surprise. The other reviews of this CD are very accurate; so I cannot offer any additional insights. I would just like to say that this recording is one of the most enjoyable I've encountered in some time. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes piano music in the reflective, lyrical vein.
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Format: Audio CD
Well, it all depends. If your horizon in music is Elton John or Yann Tiersen of Amélie Poulain fame, you might find this disc appealing, or at least some of it. Or if you think the horizon of 21st century contemporary music should be Schubert and Mendelsssohn, this is also for you. That's the style of music that Silvestrov is now composing, at least in the small piano pieces which he composed in what he himself has called, re the liner notes, his "bagatelle period". If, like me, you listen to Classical music precisely to escape from the contemporary muzak of the pop scene, if you think Elton John is NOT a greater composer than Ligeti or Crumb, and if you think that any contemporary composer is and must consider himself the heir to ALL his musical past rather than its negator, then you are likely, as I did, to find this disc not appealing, but appalling.

The Ukrainian Valentin Silvestrov, born in 1937, started off as a post-Webern radical (the atmosphere seems to have been slightly more permissive in Ukraine in the early 1960s than it was nearer the heart of the Empire in Russia), but, as many of his generation (Pärt, Gorecki), he soon grew dissatisfied with the avant-garde and moved away from it, to adopt a more mystical, meditative and slow-moving style. The trend set in as early as 1960, with his first piano sonata which he wrote in reaction against what he called "hammer music", music that forces itself onto the listener's attention, then put into a drawer, only to re-discover it later, revise and trim it even more. With its two companions Sonatas No. 2 (1975) and 3 (1979) and the Cello-Piano Sonata from 1983, it was recorded by Alexei Lubimov on an Erato CD not listed here, but available on the European sister companies under ASIN B00004ZEB8 (see my review on .uk).
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