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Variations 2016 - VP.indd

VASSILY PRIMAKOV | VARIATIONS | Handel, Schumann, Rachmaninoff, Liebermann


George Frideric Handel {1685-1759}

1. Chaconne in G Major, HWV 435 (11:00)

Robert Schumann {1810 – 1856}

Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13

2. Theme – Andante (1:32)
3. Etude 1 (Var. 1) – Un poco più vivo (1:05)
4. Etude II (Var. 2) – Andante (3:01)
5. Etude III – Vivace (1:22)
6. Etude IV (Var. 3) – Allegro marcato (0:57)
7. Etude V (Var. 4) – Scherzando (1:11)
8. Posthumous Variation 1 (1:53)
9. Posthumous  Variation 2 (2:25)
10. Posthumous Variation 3 (1:50)
11. Posthumous Variation 5 (2:47)
12. Etude VI (Var. 5) – Agitato (0:53)
13. Etude VII (Var. 6) – Allegro molto (1:08)
14. Etude VIII (Var. 7) – Sempre marcatissimo (2:38)
15. Posthumous Variation 4 (2:59)
16. Etude IX – Presto possibile (0:39)
17. Etude X (Var. 8) – Allegro con energia (1:19)
18. Etude XI (Var. 9) – Andante espressivo (1:58)
19. Etude XII (Finale) – Allegro brillante (5:41)

Sergey Rachmaninoff {1873 – 1943}

20. Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op. 42 (19:20)

Lowell Liebermann {b. 1961}

Variations on a Theme of Schubert, Op. 100 (2007) – World Premiere Recording

21. Theme – Lieblich (0:37)
22. Variation I – L’istesso tempo (0:48)
23. Variation II – Misterioso (0:49)
24. Variation III – Presto (0:56)
25. Variation IV – Lento (1:10)
26. Variation V – Solenne (1:12)
27. Variation VI – Allegro (0:37)
28. Variation VII – Largo e semplice (1:33)
29. Variation VIII – Allegro (1:08)
30. Variation IX (0:54)
31. Variation X – Allegro – Tempo primo – Presto – Tempo primo (2:02)

Total Time: 77:23

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Product Description

Lowell Liebermann: Variations on a Theme of Schubert Op.100 

The Variations of a Theme of Schubert were commissioned by Louis K. Meisel for pianist Nadejda Vlaeva who gave the first performance of the work at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City on December 10th, 2009.

The piece had a somewhat complicated genesis:  I originally conceived it as a solo piano piece, sketching out the arrangement of the theme and the first variation without having a commission for the piece. Out of necessity I set the sketches aside to work on commissioned pieces, and they lay fallow for a number of years, until a commission for a piece for wind band prompted me to adapt the long-neglected sketches for that ensemble, where the completed work appeared as my Op.92. I had always felt though, that the material’s “true” nature was as a solo piano piece, so when Lou Meisel asked me to write something for Nadejda, I explained that I would like to do a reworking for solo piano of the Schubert Variations, and he agreed.

The theme for the variations is Schubert’s setting of Goethe’s poem “Heidenroslein.” The theme is presented in a fairly faithful, unelaborated arrangement, followed by ten variations which use motivic material from the Schubert song. From the very first variation, a bitonal etude which combines the right hand playing filigree figuration against the left handís melody and accompaniment, the variations stray widely from the theme in terms of harmonic and stylistic content.  Etude-like variations alternate with more lyrical, slow variations and culminate in a march-like variation (Var. XIII,) a music box evocation (Var. IX,) and the final finger-twisting fugal variation which briefly returns to the unadulterated original theme before ending in a virtuoso flourish.

~ Lowell Liebermann

Vassily Primakov in recent years has been hailed as a pianist of world class importance.  Gramophone wrote that “Primakov’s empathy with Chopinís spirit could hardly be more complete,” and the American Record Guide stated: “Since Gilels, how many pianists have the right touch? In Chopin, no one currently playing and recording sounds as good as this!  This is a great Chopin pianist.”

Mr. Primakov was born in Moscow.  His first piano studies were with his mother, Marina Primakova.  He entered Moscow’s Central Special Music School at the age of eleven as a pupil of Vera Gornostaeva, and at 17 came to New York to pursue studies at the Juilliard School with the noted pianist, Jerome Lowenthal.  At Juilliard, Mr. Primakov won the William Petschek Piano Recital Award, which presented his debut recital at Alice Tully Hall, and while at Juilliard, aided by a Susan W. Rose Career Grant, he won both the Silver Medal and the Audience Prize in the 2002 Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition.  Later that year, Primakov won First Prize in the 2002 Young Concert Artists International Auditions.  In 2007 he was named the Classical Recording Foundation’s “Young Artist of the Year.”  In 2009, Primakov’s Chopin Mazurkas recording was named “Best of the Year” by National Public Radio.  Of his recent performances, Thys Odendaal (Johanessburg Press, South Africa), wrote: “A simplicity in favour of the music dominates his playing in proportion to his instinctive understanding of apparently any genre.”

Vassily Primakov has released numerous recordings for Bridge Records that include works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Chopin, Dvorak, Debussy, Tchaikovsky, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, Philip Glass, Arlene Sierra and Poul Ruders.

In 2011, Mr. Primakov, along with his duo partner, Natalia Lavrova established a record company, L.P. Classics, Inc. Their first release was Anton Arensky: Four Suites for Two Pianos.  In addition to several other four hand albums and a live CD, LP Classics more recently has released Mr. Primakov’s Chopin: Sonatas, Ballades, Scherzos along with 51 Mazurkas.

Vassily Primakov is a Yamaha Artist.

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