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Kabalevsky: Piano Concerto No 3; Rimsky-korsakov: Piano Concerto / Liu, Yablonsky


Release Date: 06/24/2008 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557794   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Dmitri KabalevskyNikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Performer:  Hsin-Ni Liu
Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic OrchestraGnesin Academy Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 54 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Simple catchy exuberance and patriotic aggression.

Here is an inexpensive collection of three works by Kabalevsky and one by Rimsky-Korsakov. The Kabalevsky Third Piano Concerto, dedicated to Soviet Youth, is well enough known. It is carefree, catchy, neatly romantic and wonderfully memorable. Hsin-Ni Liu despatches its 18:45 in machine-gun exuberance in the outer movements and in delicate pastels in the central Andante. From a dozen years after the Third Concerto comes Kabalevsky's Rhapsody on the theme of the song School Years. It is dedicated to the Young Musicians of the Volga region. Like the much recorded Third Concerto it makes clever, sparkling and playful use of the woodwind.

The short
Read more Rimsky-Korsakov Concerto in one movement is pearly and has the tang of Borodin. The recording allows us to hear the key-click mechanisms of the woodwind soloists’ instruments. The performances are spot-on and seem well prepared yet not drilled to death.

Moving away from the concerto aspect of the disc the sequence ends with a final patriotic and dramatic gesture. Kabalevsky's Poem of Struggle takes us back all the way to the 1930s; it is in fact his first major work. The text which appears in the last segment is bloodcurdlingly acquisitive with the international Revolution being taken to Berlin, Dresden, Paris and Warsaw … and then the Far East. It's a fascinating novelty which speaks with the burning, fearsome and ruthless ardour of its Soviet times. The rushing militaristic writing is directly redolent of Myaskovsky's Fifth and Sixth Symphonies: the Red Flag whips in the wind of violent change. The piece is alive with the concatenating strenuous uproar of trumpet fanfares and tramping militia. The choir exude the fervour of the words which are printed in English but not in transliterated Russian.

Short playing time for which you have the compensation of three works for piano and orchestra. Add to this a very rare early Kabalevsky piece from the youthfully aggressive first maturity of the Soviet Union.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International

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Charming music, charmingly played. Kabalevksy’s Third Piano Concerto, dedicated to “Soviet Youth” (Oy!) is what you might expect: tuneful, cheerful, short, and rather fun. It offers no special challenges to the performers, and Hsin-Ni Liu has no problem turning in a deft, light, attractive performance. The same holds true for Rimsky’s less than quarter-hour, single-movement concerto—another odd work that is virtually unprogrammable in real life, but very pleasant to hear once in a while on disc. Kabalevksy’s Rhapsody is cut from the same cloth as the concerto, while the Poem of Struggle lays on the Socialist Realist triteness rather heavily. It’s the kind of stuff that Shostakovich was punished for not writing. Thank God. But the disc as a whole is worth considering.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano in C sharp minor, Op. 30 by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Performer:  Hsin-Ni Liu (Piano)
Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1882-1883; Russia 
Length: 14 Minutes 5 Secs. 
2.
Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 75 by Dmitri Kabalevsky
Performer:  Hsin-Ni Liu (Piano)
Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1963; USSR 
Length: 12 Minutes 8 Secs. 
3.
Poem of Struggle for Orchestra and Chorus, Op. 12 by Dmitri Kabalevsky
Performer:  Hsin-Ni Liu (Piano)
Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra,  Gnesin Academy Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 9 Minutes 1 Secs. 
4.
Concerto for Piano no 3 in D major, Op. 50 "Youth" by Dmitri Kabalevsky
Performer:  Hsin-Ni Liu (Piano)
Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; Russia 

Featured Sound Samples

Piano Concerto no 3 "Youth" (Kabalevsky): I. Allegro molto
Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra (Kabalevsky)

Sound Samples

Piano Concerto No. 3 in D major, Op. 50: I. Allegro molto
Piano Concerto No. 3 in D major, Op. 50: II. Andante con moto
Piano Concerto No. 3 in D major, Op. 50: III. Presto
Piano Concerto in C sharp minor, Op. 30
Rhapsody on the theme of the song School Years, Op. 75
Poem of Struggle, Op. 12

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