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Ciurlionis: Piano Music Vol 1 / Muza Rubackyte

Ciurlionis / Rubackyte
Release Date: 07/26/2011 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572659   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Mikolajus Ciurlionis
Performer:  Mûza Rubackyté
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



?IURLIONIS Piano Works, Volume 1 M?za Rubackyt? (pn) NAXOS 8.572659 (69:34)


Sonata. Nocturnes. Preludes. Mazurkas


?IURLIONIS Piano Works, Volume 2 M?za Rubackyt? (pn) NAXOS 8.572660 (69:35)

Read more /> Preludes. 3 Autumn Pieces on a Theme. String Quartet (trans. Rubackyté)


When these discs appeared as Marco Polos in 1994 (see Fanfare 18:1), ?iurlionis was one for the “rarities” collector and still better known as a painter. To compile these programs, M?za Rubackyt? was obliged to sort through manuscripts to make her own performing editions, or to choose between editions of pieces edited by the composer’s sister or by Vytautas Landsbergis, the Lithuanian president who had recently faced down Gorbachev to assert Lithuanian independence, and whose specialty the music of ?iurlionis is. In this series of brief pieces one followed the composer from his Frohnatur student days in sparks of unabashed happiness looking back to Schumann and Chopin, through growing maturity, melancholy, mysticism, and burgeoning compositional powers to a technical adventurousness exploring expanded tonality, polytonality, polymodality, and anticipations of atonality and serialism in a new prehension—a volatile range from the hypnotically impassioned to the eerily agitated—shared with such contemporaries as Busoni, Schoenberg, and Scriabin in the first decade of the 20th century, though there is no evidence that ?iurlionis was aware of any of them. For a working life of some 15 years, that is a staggering traversal, and deeply compelling in its narrative dimension as one follows the composer into the throes of the schizophrenic apathy that consumed him at age 35 in 1911.


Today, the situation is vastly different. The complete works have been published, including the piano works edited by Prof. Landsbergis and recorded in a five-CD set by the late Nikolaus Lahusen and, on Lahusen’s demise, completed by Rokas Zubovas (Celestial Harmonies 19923-2). Their presentation is a labor of love, organized by groups of five or six pieces from the same years, in similar style, separated by fugues. Like Busoni, ?iurlionis was raised on “the 48” and was a natural contrapuntist, turning fugue to a vehicle of eloquent personal expression. Through the later CDs, the groups are contrasted, later pieces heard against earlier, telescoping ?iurlionis’s progress. From both artists, these are deeply sympathetic, committed, capable performances whose interest seldom flags.


But turning to Rubackyt?’s is like witnessing an eagle overtaking larks—the instinct of a great performer banishes all soft focus and uncertainty to project these concentrated aphoristic utterances with a compelling psychic grasp. Her response is preternatural. Her transcription of the three extant movements of ?iurlionis’s attractive if conventional String Quartet, moreover, provides an intermission and a demonstration of the composer’s constructive powers. Slowly but inexorably, ?iurlionis will be heard, not only because of the intrinsic merit of the music, its expressive riches, trajectory, and variety, but because the exhaustion of the “basic” repertoire through over-exposure will prod pianists to look further afield for novelties, which will, themselves, become “classics.” With that in mind, it is essential to have interpretations that point the way to ?iurlionis’s expressive profondeurs . And that’s to say that Rubackyt?’s conspectus on ?iurlionis remains permanently valuable.


FANFARE: Adrian Corleonis
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Works on This Recording

1.
Humoresque for Piano, VL 162 by Mikolajus Ciurlionis
Performer:  Mûza Rubackyté (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Lithuania 
Date of Recording: 04/1993 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 
2.
Prelude for Piano, VL 164 by Mikolajus Ciurlionis
Performer:  Mûza Rubackyté (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Lithuania 
Date of Recording: 04/1993 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg 
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs. 
3.
Prelude for Piano B flat minor, VL 169/Op. 3 no 1 by Mikolajus Ciurlionis
Performer:  Mûza Rubackyté (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Lithuania 
Date of Recording: 04/1993 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg 
Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs. 
4.
Prelude for Piano in B minor, VL 182a by Mikolajus Ciurlionis
Performer:  Mûza Rubackyté (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Lithuania 
Date of Recording: 04/1993 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg 
Length: 2 Minutes 10 Secs. 
5.
Prelude for Piano in F# minor, VL 184 "Druskininku Angelas Dievo" by Mikolajus Ciurlionis
Performer:  Mûza Rubackyté (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Lithuania 
Date of Recording: 04/1993 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg 
Length: 4 Minutes 20 Secs. 
6.
Prelude for Piano, VL 222/Op. 8 no 2 by Mikolajus Ciurlionis
Performer:  Mûza Rubackyté (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; Lithuania 
Date of Recording: 4/1993 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg 
Length: 3 Minutes 27 Secs. 
7.
Prelude for Piano, VL 230 by Mikolajus Ciurlionis
Performer:  Mûza Rubackyté (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Lithuania 
Date of Recording: 04/1993 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg 
Length: 0 Minutes 40 Secs. 
8.
Nocturne for Piano, VL 178 by Mikolajus Ciurlionis
Performer:  Mûza Rubackyté (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Lithuania 
Date of Recording: 04/1993 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg 
Length: 3 Minutes 20 Secs. 
9.
Nocturne for Piano, VL 183 by Mikolajus Ciurlionis
Performer:  Mûza Rubackyté (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Lithuania 
Date of Recording: 04/1993 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg 
Length: 4 Minutes 10 Secs. 
10.
Impromptu for Piano, VL 181 by Mikolajus Ciurlionis
Performer:  Mûza Rubackyté (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Lithuania 
Date of Recording: 04/1993 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg 
Length: 4 Minutes 16 Secs. 
11.
Chansonette for Piano, VL 199 by Mikolajus Ciurlionis
Performer:  Mûza Rubackyté (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Lithuania 
Date of Recording: 04/1993 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg 
Length: 1 Minutes 9 Secs. 
12.
Prelude for Piano, VL 222/Op. 8 no 2 by Mikolajus Ciurlionis
Performer:  Mûza Rubackyté (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; Lithuania 
Date of Recording: 4/1993 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg 
Length: 2 Minutes 23 Secs. 
13.
Mazurka for Piano, VL 234 by Mikolajus Ciurlionis
Performer:  Mûza Rubackyté (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Lithuania 
Date of Recording: 04/1993 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg 
Length: 2 Minutes 38 Secs. 
14.
Sonata for Piano, VL 155 by Mikolajus Ciurlionis
Performer:  Mûza Rubackyté (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Lithuania 
Date of Recording: 04/1993 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg 
Length: 24 Minutes 11 Secs. 
15.
Prelude for Piano in F sharp minor, VL 185/Op. 7 no 1 by Mikolajus Ciurlionis
Performer:  Mûza Rubackyté (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Lithuania 
Date of Recording: 04/1993 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg 
Length: 2 Minutes 20 Secs. 
16.
Prelude for Piano in Db major, VL 187/Op. 7 no 2 by Mikolajus Ciurlionis
Performer:  Mûza Rubackyté (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Lithuania 
Date of Recording: 04/1993 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg 
Length: 1 Minutes 15 Secs. 
17.
Prelude for Piano in A minor, VL 188/Op. 7 no 4 by Mikolajus Ciurlionis
Performer:  Mûza Rubackyté (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Lithuania 
Date of Recording: 04/1993 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg 
Length: 1 Minutes 58 Secs. 
18.
Prelude for Piano in B major, VL 186/Op. 7 no 3 by Mikolajus Ciurlionis
Performer:  Mûza Rubackyté (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Lithuania 
Date of Recording: 04/1993 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg 
Length: 2 Minutes 22 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Humoresque in G minor, VL 162
Prelude in F minor, VL 164
Prelude in B flat major, VL 169
Nocturne in F minor, VL 178
Impromptu in F sharp minor, VL 181: Impromptus in F sharp minor, VL 181
Prelude in B minor, VL 182a
Nocturne in C sharp minor, VL 183
Prelude in F sharp major, VL 184, "Angelus Domini"
Prelude in F sharp minor, VL 185
Prelude in B minor, VL 186
Prelude in D flat major, VL 187
Prelude in F major-A minor, VL 188
Prelude in F minor, VL 197
Chansonette, Dainele, VL 199
Mazurka in E flat minor, VL 222
Prelude in A minor, VL 230
Mazurka in B minor, VL 234
Piano Sonata in F major, VL 155: I. Allegro moderato
Piano Sonata in F major, VL 155: II. Andante
Piano Sonata in F major, VL 155: III. Scherzo
Piano Sonata in F major, VL 155: IV. Finale

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