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Rachmaninov: Moments Musicaux; Scriabin: Sonata No 5; Prokofiev: Sonata No 7 / Alexander Gavrylyuk

Gavrylyuk,Alexander / Rachmaninoff / Scriabin
Release Date: 08/09/2011 
Label:  Piano Classics   Catalog #: 37   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alexander ScriabinSergei ProkofievSergey Rachmaninov
Performer:  Alexander Gavrylyuk
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

RACHMANINOFF Moments Musicaux, op. 16. SCRIABIN Piano Sonata No. 5. Etude in c?, op. 2/1. PROKOFIEV Piano Sonata No. 7 & Alexander Gavrylyuk (pn) PIANO CLASSICS 0037 (62:59)

& RACHMANINOFF-KOCSIS Read more class="ARIAL12bi">Vocalise

Still under the age of 30 (he was born in Ukraine in 1984), Alexander Gavrylyuk is quickly making a name for himself. Beginning piano studies at seven, by nine he was already playing with orchestra. In 1999, at 16, he won his very first gold medal at the Horowitz International Piano Competition. He did the same the following year at the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in Japan, where Japanese critics proclaimed him as “the best 16-year-old pianist of the late 20th century.” Taking the opportunity to concertize after these victories, in 2005 he competed once again—this time at the Artur Rubinstein International Piano Masters Competition—where, perhaps unsurprisingly now, he took first prize.

The wonderful thing listening to the recital here is that it is quite obvious that this young pianist is far more than a mere technical wizard, far more than just a competition pianist. His Rachmaninoff is subtle, fluid, and lyrical in the first of the Moments Musicaux. There is a certain natural rubato here; he is never afraid to take the time to let the music breathe. The effect that he achieves is magical at its best. The fourth piece, in E Minor, has an overwhelming quality as the torrents of notes surround and engulf the listener. This Rachmaninoff is sustained and powerful, yet there is hardly ever a hint of a banging quality. Gavrylyuk coaxes the sound out of the instrument; he never forces it out. The Scriabin sonata’s opening is fiery in its way. The section that follows has a mysterious quality, yet is missing perhaps that overly sensuous quality that such luminaries as Sofronitsky and Horowitz bring to this music. The Prokofiev is the exact opposite of the Scriabin. It sparkles with its clear, lucid, and articulated opening, though the overall tempo in the first movement is a bit too fast for my taste. The second movement is straightforward. The pianist never allows himself to overindulge in the movement’s lyrical side, rather maintaining a cool, almost distant sound. It works perfectly here. The third movement’s infamous chordal perpetual-motion toccata is lively and exciting as the pianist romps about in an energetic, almost feverish way. For some it may be too much, but what better composition to push to its utmost exists in the literature? The pianist once again shows his lyrical side in the two smaller pieces, reveling in the simplicity of the Rachmaninoff transcription and the emotionality of the Scriabin. This is music-making of the first order, and one knows that it will only get better as the artist matures.

FANFARE: Scott Noriega
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for Piano no 5 in F sharp major, Op. 53 by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Alexander Gavrylyuk (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; Russia 
Venue:  Westvest Church, Schiedam, The Netherlan 
Length: 11 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Sonata for Piano no 7 in B flat major, Op. 83 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Alexander Gavrylyuk (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939-1942; USSR 
Venue:  Westvest Church, Schiedam, The Netherlan 
Length: 17 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Pieces (3) for Piano, Op. 2: no 1, Etude in C sharp minor by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Alexander Gavrylyuk (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1887-1889; Russia 
Venue:  Westvest Church, Schiedam, The Netherlan 
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Moments musicaux (6) for piano, Op. 16 by Sergey Rachmaninov
Performer:  Alexander Gavrylyuk (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1896; Russia 
Venue:  Westvest Church, Schiedam, The Netherlan 
Length: 27 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Vocalise, transcription for piano, Op. 34/14 by Sergey Rachmaninov
Performer:  Alexander Gavrylyuk (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Venue:  Westvest Church, Schiedam, The Netherlan 
Length: 3 Minutes 50 Secs. 

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