ALEXANDER SLOBODYANIK | Chopin | 24 Etudes
Frédéric Chopin (1810 – 1849)
12 Etudes, Opus 10
1. No. 1 in C major: Allegro [2:02]
2. No. 2 in A minor: Allegro [1:25]
3. No. 3 in E major: Lento, ma non troppo [4:25]
4. No. 4 in C sharp minor: Presto [1:58]
5. No. 5 in G flat major: Vivace [1:51]
6. No. 6 in E flat minor: Andante [3:55]
7. No. 7 in C major: Vivace [1:30]
8. No. 8 in F major: Allegro [2:27]
9. No. 9 in F minor: Allegro, molto agitato [2:10]
10. No. 10 in A flat major: Vivace assai [2:02]
11. No. 11 in E flat major: Allegretto [2:10]
12. No. 12 in C minor: Allegro con fuoco [2:49]
12 Etudes, Opus 25
13. No. 1 in A flat major: Allegro sostenuto [2:23]
14. No. 2 in F minor: Presto [1:29]
15. No. 3 in F major: Allegro [1:32]
16. No. 4 in A minor: Agitato [1:32]
17. No. 5 in E minor: Vivace [3:23]
18. No. 6 in G sharp minor: Allegro [2:03]
19. No. 7 in C sharp minor: Lento [5:21]
20. No. 8 in D flat major: Vivace [1:14]
21. No. 9 in G flat major: Allegro assai [1:00]
22. No. 10 in B minor: Allegro con fuoco [3:52]
23. No. 11 in A minor: Lento–Allegro con brio [3:31]
24. No. 12 in C minor: Molto allegro, con fuoco [2:57]
Recorded Live at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory on May 26, 1970
Total Time: 58:23
“It takes a brave man to perform all the Chopin Etudes in public, and an even braver one to release a record of that live performance” wrote Donald Henehan in the New York Times in 1972 of the first release from a performance at the Moscow Conservatory in 1971, also stating that “Slobodyanik’s performance has no real challenger in the current catalogue.”
LP Classics is proud to release an even earlier live recording of the 24 Chopin Etudes by Alexander Slobodyanik from his performance at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory on May 26, 1970 – this newly discovered rendition is a first ever documented LIVE recording of the Chopin’s landmark piece.
Alexander Slobodyanik is known to audiences around the world as one of the greatest pianists to emerge from the former Soviet Union. A highly individual artist, he was regarded as “a pianist of intellect, highly passionate with a poetic sensitivity and commanding spectacular virtuosity.” He enjoyed a prodigious international career spanning five decades, touring throughout Europe, North and South Americas, the former Soviet Union, South Africa, Australia and the Far East. He is remembered as one of the great romantic piano virtuosos of the 20th century.
Mr. Slobodyanik graced the world’s major stages including Carnegie & Avery Fisher Halls, Kennedy Center, London’s Barbican Center and Albert Hall, Milan’s La Scala, Paris’ Theatre de Champs Elysees, Amsterdam’s Concertgebau, Vienna’s Musikverien, Salzburg Mozarteum, Argentina’s Teatro Collon, and the Hollywood Bowl.
He performed with many of the world’s foremost conductors including Leonard Bernstein, Sir John Barbirolli, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Valery Gergiev, Mariss Jansons, Neeme Jarvi, Dmitri Kitaenko, Kiril Kondrashin, Kurt Masur, Mstislav Rostropovich, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Thomas Sanderling, Maxim Shostakovich, Evgeni Svetlanov and Yuri Temirkanov.
He appeared as soloist with major American and international orchestras such as London, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Montreal, Washington’s National and San Francisco Symphonies, the New York, Los Angeles, Royal, and St. Petersburg Philharmonics, the Philadelphia, Cleveland, Mariinsky Orchestras, the Moscow Soloists, Orchestre National de France, and the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig as well as many others.
Alexander Slobodyanik was born in Kyiv, Ukraine on September 5, 1941 and began piano studies with Lidia Golembo in Lviv. At 15, he joined the studio of legendary Professor Henrich Neuhaus in Moscow, where he later completed his Masters and Doctorate at the Moscow Conservatory under Vera Gornostayeva.
Soon he became a laureate of major international competitions, such as the Chopin Competition in Warsaw and the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
By the age of 20, Slobodyanik had toured extensively throughout the Soviet Union and Europe. Upon hearing him, impresario Sol Hurok was so overwhelmed, he immediately engaged him for a tour of North America.
Mr. Slobodyanik’s American debut recital at Carnegie Hall in 1968 left the critics proclaiming him a “leader of his generation.” He returned regularly for tours of the United States and Canada until 1979, when his career was blighted by the politics of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The cultural exchange between USSR and the West was suspended and his concert activity became restricted. During the next decade he toured the Soviet Republics, Latin and South Americas, Eastern Europe, China, Japan, Singapore and the Philippines. Following a nine year absence from the American stage his 1988 concert tour was hailed by the Chicago Tribune a “triumphant return.”
After emigrating to the United States in 1989, Mr. Slobodyanik continued to concertize as a soloist and chamber musician worldwide in major concert series and international music festivals including “Mostly Mozart”, “White Nights”, Edinburgh, Salzburg, Schleswig Holstein, Hamburg, Verbier, Athens, Rotterdam. He also often performed two-piano repertoire with colleagues, his son Alex and wife Laryssa.
Embarking on a mission to revive a local theatre, Mr. Slobodyanik created the Morris International Festival of the Arts, engaging world renowned musicians, artists, sculptors, poets, composers, and ensembles to participate in the Festival’s unique and innovative programs. The Gala Opening concert of Morristown’s Community Theatre on September 29, 1994 featured his friend, conductor Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra, with himself as soloist.
During the 20th Anniversary, Alexander Slobodyanik was honored, posthumously, as the founder of the now thriving Mayo Performing Arts Center.
Deeply rooted within the recital traditions of Liszt and Rubenstein, pianist Alexander Slobodyanik favored grand-scale programs often featuring such monumental works as the Complete Etudes of Chopin.
Albert Goldberg of the Los Angeles Times wrote of one such recital “The Etudes were a tour de force of the first order. As well as Chopin playing of the most exquisite quality they were a hair-raising exhibition of technical mastery. Slobodyanik is an instinctive poet and the poetic quality was always predominant – restrained, unexaggerated, textually exact, but powerfully eloquent.”
TIME Magazine described his “total control of the giant tone poems, combining bravura virtuosity with an elegant lyricism.”
Often uncomfortable in a studio, Slobodyanik decided to release a recording of the Etudes from his recital at the Moscow Conservatory in 1971 that would later become one of the staple renditions of the work ever recorded.
320Kb MP3, Compact Disk, FLAC – Lossless