LEONID DESYATNIKOV (b.1955): Songs of Bukovina - 24 Preludes for Piano.

Catalogue Number: 12V060

Label: Melodiya

Reference: MEL CD 10 02607

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: The master of irony, sardonic humor and polystylism has written a set of 24 preludes for piano, and being who he is, they are accessible, tonal, brilliantly entertaining, bewilderingly off- kilter and executed with consummate skill. They fit right into the tradition of a cycle of character pieces in all the keys, and they sound nothing like any of their illustrious predecessors. Desyatnikov has made it his practice to borrow from pre-existing music of almost any kind in order paradoxically to construct wholly original works, so here his source material is Ukrainian folksongs, obscure outside the Bukovina region that straddles Ukraine and Rumania. These are not folk song transcriptions for piano, even though the folk tunes are readily discernible. Instead, they are pianistically brilliant and inventive fantasias, in many moods - mournful, full of bravado, sentimental, heroic, solemn, boisterous, playful - on, or around, the original material. To summarize this cycle in brief; imagine a first-rate Soviet- approved set of preludes - Kabalevsky comes to mind - mix in an omnipresent folk idiom, and then send it on the kind of stylistic Cook's Tour to which Rzewski subjected just one vernacular tune in the People United Variations. Alexei Goribol (piano).

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