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Impromptu / Margarita Glebov

Glebov / Vorisek / Liszt / Balakirev
Release Date: 02/14/2012 
Label:  Music & Arts   Catalog #: 1245   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Jan Vaclav VorisekFranz LisztCésar CuiMily Balakirev,   ... 
Performer:  Margarita Glebov
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Vo?íŠek Impromptu, op. 7/6. LISZT Nocturne-Impromptu. CUI Impromptu-Caprice. BALAKIREV Impromptu on 2 Preludes Read more by Chopin. MUSSORGSKY Impromptu passioné. RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Impromptu, op. 11/1. Prelude-Impromptu, op.38/1. MOSZKOWSKI Fantaisie-Impromptu, op. 6. DVO?ÁK Impromptu in d, B 129. FAURÉ Impromptu, op. 25/1. BLUMENFELD Impromptu, op. 28. GODOWSKY Impromptu in e? (version for 2 hands). BABADJANIAN Impromptu in b. POULENC 5 Impromptus. MAZHARA Impromtu. VOLAJ Impromptu. BIBALO Tango-Impromptu

Margarita Glebov is a Russian-American pianist trained in St. Petersburg, at Peabody, and at the University of Maryland. And in this engaging survey (her recording debut), she traces the history of the impromptu, showing us how 16 composers—from Vo?íšek (who apparently was the first to have music published under this title, in 1817) on to Nicolai Mazhara and Altin Volaj (whose contributions come from 2008)—responded to the formal and emotional freedom of the genre. She wisely skirts the most celebrated examples (Schubert and Chopin). Even so, the collection interleaves the fairly familiar (Fauré, Poulenc, Liszt) with the more rarely encountered (Moszkowski) and the truly arcane (four works are claimed as recording premieres). Not everything is equally revelatory (I wasn’t smitten with Rimsky’s two contributions), but there are more than enough nuggets of delight to please any collector.

My favorites? I’ve generally relegated Cui to the second rank, a composer paradoxically remembered as the one whose name you’re most likely to forget when trying to list The Five. But his impromptu, with its surprising harmonic turns and its succulent melodies, convinces me that I may have been too hasty. Blumenfeld’s brooding opus, too, reminds us that this Rimsky acolyte, too, had deeper compositional springs than we often give him credit for. Vo?íšek’s delightful piece straddles the awkward transition between Classicism and Romanticism with aplomb; Godowsky’s brief meditation is so harmonically and texturally luscious that it’s hard to believe that this is its first recording. And while the Babadjanian may initially seem a touch hokey in the way it incorporates ethnic elements, once you hear it, it’s hard to get it out of your head. As for the 21st-century pieces (which, not surprisingly, take more advantage of the improvisatory potential of the genre): I was most struck by Mazhara’s mercurial essay, a virtuoso showpiece that keeps changing the topic in a way to throw you off balance.

Glebov takes in everything with tremendous commitment, understanding, and sensitivity. On the whole, she plays with vigor; her uptempo Moszkowski gives more sparkle than succulence, just as her performance of the Fauré gives more attention to the churning than to the yearning. But she’s far from pushy; she’s as attuned to the sweetness of the Mussorgsky as she is to the bitter violence of the Bibalo (as much a toccata as a tango), and her phrasing can be elegantly upholstered. And while she’s pressed by some of the more extreme moments in Volaj’s kaleidoscopic seven-movement tour of 20th-century techniques (you’re apt to be reminded of Prokofiev, the Second Vienna School, and Messiaen at various points as it careens to its conclusion), nearly any pianist would be. The engineering is nothing special, but it doesn’t get in the way. All in all, a splendid debut. May it be the first disc of many.

FANFARE: Peter J. Rabinowitz
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Works on This Recording

Impromptus (6) for Piano, Op. 7: no 6 in B major by Jan Vaclav Vorisek
Performer:  Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1822; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 4 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Impromptu for Piano in F sharp major, S 191 "Nocturne" by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; Rome, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Impromptu-Caprice for piano in E major by César Cui
Performer:  Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Written: 1896 
Length: 4 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Impromptu for Piano by Mily Balakirev
Performer:  Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1907; Russia 
Length: 4 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Impromptu passioné by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Pieces (4) for Piano, Op. 11: no 1, Impromptu by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Performer:  Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876-1877 
Length: 1 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Pieces (2) for Piano, Op. 38: no 1, Prelude-Impromptu by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Performer:  Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1894 
Length: 0 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Fantaisie Impromptu for Piano, Op. 6 by Moritz Moszkowski
Performer:  Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1873; Germany 
Length: 6 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Impromptu in D minor, B 129 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883 
Length: 4 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Impromptu for Piano no 1 in E flat major, Op. 25 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; France 
Length: 4 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Impromptu for Piano in B major, Op. 28 by Felix Blumenfeld
Performer:  Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Impromptu for piano in E flat minor by Leopold Godowsky
Performer:  Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Written: 1929 
Length: 2 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Impromptus (5) for Piano by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920/1939; France 
Length: 5 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Impromptu for piano by Nicolai Mazhara
Performer:  Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Written: 2008 
Length: 6 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Impromptu for piano by Altin Voloj
Performer:  Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Written: 2008 
Length: 9 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Tango-Impromptu for piano by Antonio Bibalo
Performer:  Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Length: 5 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Impromptu for piano in B minor ("Exprompt") by Arno Babadjanyan
Performer:  Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1944 
Length: 3 Minutes 17 Secs. 

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