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Nikolai Kapustin: Piano Sonata No 15, Etc / John Salmon


Release Date: 02/26/2008 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570532   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Nikolai Kapustin
Performer:  John Salmon
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 54 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

If you've heard Hyperion's stunning Kapustin recitals with Steven Osborne and Marc-André Hamelin, or perhaps have read David Hurwitz's excellent descriptions of this ceaselessly inventive composer's "written-out jazz" aesthetic (type Q2420 and Q7857 in Search Reviews), you'll know what to expect here. Pianist John Salmon offers a tasting menu of short pieces, bracketed at the end by the Second Sonata's Scherzo, and up front by a recently composed (2005) large-scale work. Piano Sonata No. 15's first three movements play without pause, and although they are rhapsodic and often restless, they never ramble, as slow and fast music flows back and forth with organic ease. Everything comes together in an energetic, toccata-like Read more Rondo finale.

Fans of Chick Corea's 1971 Piano Improvisations discs for ECM will find delightful parallel worlds in the three Bagatelles from Op. 59. It's a pity that you can't easily find all 10 on disc, nor all 24 of the Op. 53 Preludes. Salmon plays five out of the 15 preludes encompassing Osborne's selection, along with three of the eight Op. 40 Concert Etudes that Hamelin recorded in toto. Salmon differs from his colleagues in that he approaches these scores from the perspective of a jazz pianist blessed with virtuoso classical chops (Salmon is professionally active in both worlds) rather than a classical pianist who understands jazz. In Osborne's hands, for example, Prelude No. 12's Latin-inspired syncopations boast exquisite color and finesse, radically contrasting to Salmon's faster, harder-hitting approach.

If Hamelin's multi-hued, frighteningly supple articulation throughout Etude No. 5 is akin to Pollini's effortless aplomb in the Prokofiev Seventh Sonata finale, then Salmon's slower tempo and heavier touch cogently underlines the music's boogie-woogie origins. Similarly, Osborne's swift and suave Second Sonata Scherzo is pianistic through and through, while Salmon's punchier phrasing conjures up a big band. Salmon better captures the swinging lope of Etude No. 7's opening section, yet Hamelin's double notes remain the smoothest in the business. Despite Naxos' drab sonics, I have no qualms recommending Salmon's accomplished and committed performances, together with the pianist's own informative and witty booklet notes.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 53 "in Jazz Style": no 17 by Nikolai Kapustin
Performer:  John Salmon (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1988; USSR 
Length: 1 Minutes 31 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for Piano no 15 "Fantasia quasi Sonata", Op. 127 by Nikolai Kapustin
Performer:  John Salmon (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Russia 
Length: 23 Minutes 11 Secs. 
3.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 53 "in Jazz Style": no 11 by Nikolai Kapustin
Performer:  John Salmon (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1988; USSR 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
4.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 53 "in Jazz Style": no 12 by Nikolai Kapustin
Performer:  John Salmon (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1988; USSR 
Length: 2 Minutes 2 Secs. 
5.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 53 "in Jazz Style": no 13 by Nikolai Kapustin
Performer:  John Salmon (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1988; USSR 
Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. 
6.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 53 "in Jazz Style": no 18 by Nikolai Kapustin
Performer:  John Salmon (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1988; USSR 
Length: 1 Minutes 51 Secs. 
7.
Concert Etudes (8) for Piano, Op. 40: no 5 "Raillery" by Nikolai Kapustin
Performer:  John Salmon (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; USSR 
Length: 2 Minutes 27 Secs. 
8.
Concert Etudes (8) for Piano, Op. 40: no 6 "Pastoral" by Nikolai Kapustin
Performer:  John Salmon (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; USSR 
Length: 2 Minutes 32 Secs. 
9.
Concert Etudes (8) for Piano, Op. 40: no 7 "Intermezzo" by Nikolai Kapustin
Performer:  John Salmon (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; USSR 
Length: 3 Minutes 23 Secs. 
10.
Bagatelles (10) for Piano, Op. 59: no 2 by Nikolai Kapustin
Performer:  John Salmon (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1991; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs. 
11.
Bagatelles (10) for Piano, Op. 59: no 5 by Nikolai Kapustin
Performer:  John Salmon (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1991; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 45 Secs. 
12.
Bagatelles (10) for Piano, Op. 59: no 8 by Nikolai Kapustin
Performer:  John Salmon (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1991; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 33 Secs. 
13.
Bagatelles (10) for Piano, Op. 59: no 9 by Nikolai Kapustin
Performer:  John Salmon (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1991; Russia 
Length: 23 Minutes 11 Secs. 
14.
Sonata for Piano no 2, Op. 54: Scherzo by Nikolai Kapustin
Performer:  John Salmon (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1989; USSR 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 

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