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rcd1115
Wydawnictwo: Rubicon
Nr katalogowy: RCD 1115
Nośnik: 1 CD
Data wydania: marzec 2023
EAN: 5065002228369
60,00zł
na zamówienie
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Nasze kategorie wyszukiwania

Epoka muzyczna: 20 wiek do 1960, współczesna
Obszar (język): rosyjski, angielski
Instrumenty: wiolonczela, fortepian
Rodzaj: sonata, pieśń

Prokofiev / Shostakovich / Britten: The Poet's Echo

Rubicon - RCD 1115
Wykonawcy
Gemma Summerfield, soprano
Gareth Brynmor John, baritone
Abi Hyde-Smith, cello
Jocelyn Freeman, piano
Prokofiev:
3 Pushkin Romances, Op. 73

Shostakovich:
Cello Sonata, Op. 40
4 Pushkin Romances, Op. 46

Britten:
The Poet’s Echo, Op. 76/9 (arr. Freeman/Hyde-Smith)
Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) effectively founded Russian literature, elevating his mother tongue to match the wit and penetrating observation of the French, Spanish and English writers he admired. He was revered even through the Soviet years, the hundredth anniversary of his death being grandly commemorated in 1936 during Stalin’s reign. It was for that occasion that the two sets of Pushkin songs by Russia’s leading composers of that time – Prokofiev and Shostakovich – were originally composed. In the actual lines set by Prokofiev, the poet reflects that both himself and his own life have changed a great deal in the past decade, yet it seems ‘just yesterday that I wandered in these groves’. Was Prokofiev thinking of his own experience, having lived outside Russia for 18 or so years? The music itself is ambiguous, its chilly opening dissonances looking forward to the enigmatic style of his Eighth Piano Sonata (of 1944), which similarly looks back to an implicitly distant past.

There’s a strong connection with his 5th Symphony in the first of Shostakovich’s Four Pushkin Romances. In ‘Renaissance’, Shostakovich clearly saw parallels between Pushkin’s words – ‘A barbarian artist with his sleepy paintbrush/Blackens the picture of a genius’ – and his own recent lambasting by the Stalinist apparatchiks following the Pravda editorial. Not only is Shostakovich’s setting of that opening phrase alluded to by the opening of the Fifth’s finale, but the piano part’s motif at the song’s final stanza is quoted directly in that symphonic movement before its final peroration.

In later life, Shostakovich became friends with the English composer, Benjamin Britten, who also befriended the cellist and pianist Mstislav Rostropovich (a sometime pupil of Shostakovich’s) and his wife the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya. It was specifically for the latter two artists that Britten in 1965 composed The Poet’s Echo. Though not a song cycle as such, it follows a theme, as Britten explained: ‘It is really a dialogue between the poet and the unresponsiveness of the natural world he describes.’ Given Rostropovich’s dual abilities as pianist and cellist, it seems appropriate that we hear the piano part in these songs arranged for these two instruments, the cello effectively a second ‘singing’ line that duets with the voice part originally written for his wife, Vishnevskaya.

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