Snapshots is a stunning collection of short yet brilliant piano works by composers Peter Knell and Sergei Prokofiev, all expertly executed by celebrated pianist Markus Pawlik.
Ludwig van Beethoven was the first great composer to publish collections of shorter pieces as an organized entity, collections that he called “bagatelles.” This tradition continued into the 20-century with such works as Sergei Prokofiev’s Mimolyotnosti, Op. 22, and the genre is alive and well in our time, as is evinced by Peter Knell’s Snapshots.
Peter Knell’s series of twenty-two short pieces for piano that comprise Snapshots could only have been composed by an American in the first decades of the twenty-first century. The title ofRead more these concise vignettes, which, when played altogether last about twenty-four minutes, is quintessentially American.
Markus Pawlik has been characterized as one of those rare pianists who combine sensitivity and expressiveness together with a technique that evinces phenomenal virtuosity. Read less
Works on This Recording
Snapshotsby Peter Knell Performer:
Markus Pawlik (Piano)
These miniatures shineNovember 8, 2013By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA)See All My Reviews"This recording features two works by Peter Knell, and one by Sergei Prokofiev -- but there's a good reason for its inclusion. <br />
The title work, Snapshots is a set of 22 short vignettes for piano. Each one is a delightful miniature. Knell has arranged them so that they form a logical progression, making Snapshots an enjoyable 20-minute listen. <br />
Prokofiev's Visions fugitives, Op. 27 follows Snapshots on the album. This collection of 20 short piano pieces invites comparison to the miniatures of Knell's work. Prokfiev's forward-looking acerbic writing nicely complements Knell's sometimes backward-looking style, and the two works kind of meet stylistically in the middle. <br />
Knell's Piano Sonata No. 1 rounds out the program. Although a weightier work than Snapshots, it still fits with the other two pieces. This 12-minute sonata comprises of five short movements, all under three minutes in length. This is about the same length as some of the longer sections of Snapshots and Visions fugitives. The sonata moves from one distilled emotion to the next, each movement offering a dramatic contrast to the one before. <br />
Knell's piano writing is idiomatic and sure. Knell incorporates elements of other musical genres (like rock and soul) into his pieces, making them true works of the eclectic 21st century. <br />
Markus Pawlik's technique is flawless. His clean articulation at times makes the music sparkle."Report Abuse