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Roumi Petrova: Enchanted Rhythms / Ivanov, Antimova

Release Date: 07/18/2006 
Label:  Msr   Catalog #: 1156   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Roumi Petrova
Performer:  Elena AntimovaKalin Ivanov
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

PETROVA Passacaglia on a Traditional Bulgarian Melody. Cello Sonatas: No. 1; No. 2. 5 Ancient Bulgarian Portraits for Cello Solo Kalin Ivanov (vc); Elena Antimova (pn) MSR 1156 (64:50)

This is yet another release on MSR sponsored by the Charles Schwartz Foundation for Music which, to quote its mission statement on the back of the jewel box, “was established to offer musicians the financial means to develop and realize their creative visions. In a Read more time when support for the arts is waning, the CSF is turning aspirations into realities.”

Bulgarian composer Roumi Petrova was born in 1970 and received her initial music tutelage from the Academy of Music and Dance Art in Plovdiv. Having subsequently earned her master’s of music degree from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, she embarked on a career as both an orchestral and chamber musician. She now resides in New York, a base of operations from which she performs as a violist in the Forte String Quartet, the Bulgarian Piano Quartet, and the Westchester Chamber Orchestra, among other ensembles. In addition to her parallel career as a composer, Petrova is an active advocate of early childhood music education. She is the director of the Molto Facile Music School, for which she has created a number of educational programs. For that alone she should be lauded. I have come to conclude that all children have an intrinsically natural sensitivity to all the arts, but given our current American educational establishment, where the arts are regarded as an irrelevancy and public schools are largely dedicated to channeling their wards toward becoming successful corporate functionaries, that gift is systematically snuffed out despite the fact that the serious study of any of the arts fosters positive self-criticism, self-reliance, a striving for perfection, and a mind set that can see beyond the limits of a world governed by mere mercantilism. Petrova’s heart is firmly in the right place.

The music on this release does not strive for the intensely distilled language of, for instance, Bartók, who assimilated, to a greater or lesser degree, all the folk musics of his and Petrova’s intensely multicultural region, or the glitz of Pancho Vladigerov, who, though Bulgarian by lineage, was trained in Western Europe. It is disarmingly simple and direct, deeply primordial in its affect, and, paradoxically, subtly sophisticated in its harmonic and rhythmic construction. The essence of her language can be found in the second movement of Sonata No. 1 for cello and piano, subtitled “Elegy In Memory of Hristo Ivanov”—the father of the cellist on this release?who passed away in the course of its composition. Harmonically modal, it gradually and eloquently builds to moments of almost unbearable poignancy. Her fast music is graced by 5/4 and 7/4 meters. Anyone who has done any folk dancing can attest that those meters create a feeling of flying?an out of body experience as the endorphins kick in.

Cellist Kalin Ivanov plays with impeccable intonation, idiomatically telling phrasing, and projects a gratifyingly large and variegated tone. The last offering, Five Ancient Bulgarian Portraits , is for cello solo, and reveals the full extent of his musicianship. In the other pieces, he and pianist Elena Antimova are always on the same wavelength. The recording is to my liking—close up to the point where I can smell the rosin coming from Ivanov’s bow, but with enough space that the full-throated tone of his instrument registers fully at the music’s louder moments. His balance with Antimova’s piano is fine. One can hear the subtlety of her touch, voicing, and pedaling.

FANFARE: William Zagorski
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for Cello and Piano no 1 by Roumi Petrova
Performer:  Elena Antimova (Piano), Kalin Ivanov (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 21 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Notes: Levenson Recital Hall, Brooklyn, NY (02/2006) 
Passacaglia on a Traditional Bulgarian Melody for Cello and Piano by Roumi Petrova
Performer:  Elena Antimova (Piano), Kalin Ivanov (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 12 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Notes: Levenson Recital Hall, Brooklyn College, NY (02/2006) 
Sonata for Cello and Piano no 2 by Roumi Petrova
Performer:  Elena Antimova (Piano), Kalin Ivanov (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 19 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Notes: Levenson Recital Hall, Brooklyn, NY (02/2006) 
Ancient bulgarian portraits (5) for Cello solo by Roumi Petrova
Performer:  Kalin Ivanov (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 12 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Notes: Levenson Recital Hall, Brooklyn, NY (02/2006) 

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