Notes and Editorial Reviews
Ustvolskaya was an enigma: a quiet, reserved and introspective individual who wrote powerful, massively constructed (yet short in length) music which astounded her audiences and ten years after her death is becoming highly regarded and Ustvolskaya is almost becoming a cult figure. Unrelelenting rhythms in many works brought her the nickname 'The Lady with the Hammer'. Russian pianist Natalia Andreeva has however studied the music in great depth and while fully committed to the great mechanistic climaxes also brings out the lyrical and melodic qualities which are always present, expecially in the earlier works such as the picturesque Preludes. This composer, a pupil of Shostakovich (who claimed that he could teach her nothing new), will be seen in hindsight as a pivotal figure in the development of 20th century Soviet/Russian music.