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Of Lands And People Far Away - Schumann, Debussy, Mussorgsky / Sergei Kvitko


Release Date: 09/09/2008 
Label:  Blue Griffin   Catalog #: 169   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Robert SchumannClaude DebussyModest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

SCHUMANN Kinderszenen. DEBUSSY Children’s Corner. MUSSORGSKY Pictures at an Exhibition • Sergei Kvitko (pn) • BLUE GRIFFIN 169 (72:44)

Sergei Kvitko has been quite vocal over the reality that these are not the performances of a practicing concert pianist. Some liberties are taken, he warns us in advance. Please don’t listen to this CD with the score sprawled across your lap, he intimates. I would suggest that this pre-emptive defensiveness is not at all necessary. Kvitko may not be performing publicly these days, but he is no amateur. This is masterful, intuitive playing, albeit not without some interesting quirks. His program is united by a pianism that embraces the instrument as an ensemble of strings, as opposed to a row of
Read more hammers. You almost never hear the front of the attack; everything has a plangent profile and a cantabile momentum. Perhaps the most arresting artistry occurs in the quiet, slower moments in the Schumann, where Kvitko finds profound poetry. He is never in a rush, and so his “Golliwogg’s Cakewalk” is almost a slow dance, and the cattle cart in Mussorgsky’s “Bydlo” lumbers as lugubriously as I have ever heard it. This is an interpretive choice, not a safe one. When the material calls for alacrity and tension, such as in the mad rush to the “Great Gates of Kiev,” Kvitko delivers. There is, elsewhere, an iconoclastic sense for rubato rhythm and phrasing, but never in a self-serving way. Kvitko loves the music more than he loves himself.

The missing element in Kvitko’s stylistic arsenal is electricity. It is a trade off. You are not going to get the edge-of-the-seat tension of, say, Richter in the Mussorgsky here. That is the stuff of legend, big and brassy. Kvitko is more of a salon performer, playing before a small but focused audience that just wants to hear great music encountered by a serious and practiced performer. At the risk of revealing my weaknesses, I would conjure a metaphor from the world of fine wine. There are countless sensational, often very expensive quaffs out there that reap the attention of the cognoscenti, but then there are the behind-the-headline vintners who consistently produce the kinds of wine that you can curl up with for a pleasant evening. Kvitko is such a bottle of wine.

FANFARE: PETER BURWASSER
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Works on This Recording

1.
Kinderszenen, Op. 15: no 1, Von fremden Ländern und Menschen by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
2.
Kinderszenen, Op. 15: no 2, Curiose Geschichte by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 19 Secs. 
3.
Kinderszenen, Op. 15: no 3, Haschemann by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
Length: 0 Minutes 30 Secs. 
4.
Kinderszenen, Op. 15: no 4, Bittendes Kind by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 11 Secs. 
5.
Kinderszenen, Op. 15: no 5, Glückes genug by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 1 Secs. 
6.
Kinderszenen, Op. 15: no 6, Wichtige Begebenheit by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
Length: 0 Minutes 46 Secs. 
7.
Kinderszenen, Op. 15: no 7, Träumerei by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
8.
Kinderszenen, Op. 15: no 8, Am Kamin by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 9 Secs. 
9.
Kinderszenen, Op. 15: no 9, Ritter von Steckenpferd by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
Length: 0 Minutes 42 Secs. 
10.
Kinderszenen, Op. 15: no 10, Fast zu ernst by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 13 Secs. 
11.
Kinderszenen, Op. 15: no 11, Fürchtenmachen by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 8 Secs. 
12.
Kinderszenen, Op. 15: no 12, Kind im Einschlummern by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 26 Secs. 
13.
Kinderszenen, Op. 15: no 13, Der Dichter spricht by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 
14.
Children's Corner: no 1, Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906-1908; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 4 Secs. 
15.
Children's Corner: Jimbo's Lullaby by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906-1908; France 
Length: 3 Minutes 59 Secs. 
16.
Children's Corner: no 3, Serenade for the Doll by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906-1908; France 
Length: 1 Minutes 58 Secs. 
17.
Children's Corner: no 4, The Snow is Dancing by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906-1908; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 22 Secs. 
18.
Children's Corner: The Little Shepherd by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906-1908; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 25 Secs. 
19.
Children's Corner: no 6, Golliwogg's Cake-walk by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906-1908; France 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
20.
Pictures at an exhibition: no 2, The Gnome by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 27 Secs. 
21.
Pictures at an exhibition: no 4, The Old Castle by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
Length: 5 Minutes 9 Secs. 
22.
Pictures at an exhibition: no 6, Tuileries by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
Length: 0 Minutes 57 Secs. 
23.
Pictures at an exhibition: no 7, Bydlo by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
Length: 3 Minutes 53 Secs. 
24.
Pictures at an exhibition: no 10, Rich Mr. Goldenberg and Poor Mr. Schmuyle by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 33 Secs. 
25.
Pictures at an exhibition: no 13, The Catacombs by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
Length: 1 Minutes 47 Secs. 
26.
Pictures at an exhibition: no 14, Cum mortuis in lingua morta by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 3 Secs. 
27.
Pictures at an exhibition: no 15, The Hut on Fowl's Legs "Baba Yaga" by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
28.
Pictures at an exhibition: no 16, The Great Gate of Kiev by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
Length: 5 Minutes 25 Secs. 
29.
Pictures at an exhibition: Promenade no 1&5, Allegro giusto, nel modo russico by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
Length: 1 Minutes 33 Secs. 
30.
Pictures at an exhibition: Promenade no 2, Moderato comodo e con delicatezza by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
Length: 0 Minutes 54 Secs. 
31.
Pictures at an exhibition: Promenade no 3, Moderato non tanto, pesamente by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
Length: 0 Minutes 32 Secs. 
32.
Pictures at an exhibition: Promenade no 4, Tranquillo by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
Length: 0 Minutes 54 Secs. 
33.
Pictures at an exhibition: no 9, Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
Length: 1 Minutes 5 Secs. 
34.
Pictures at an exhibition: no 12, Limoges, le marché by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Sergei Kvitko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
Length: 1 Minutes 17 Secs. 

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