ELENA FIRSOVA (b.1950): Homage to Canisy for Cello and Piano, Op. 129, Lost Vision for Piano, Op. 137, A Triple Portrait for Flute, Cello and Piano, Op. 132, Meditation in the Japanese Garden for Flute, Cello and Piano, Op. 54, Spring Sonata for Flute and Piano, Op. 27, For Slava for Cello, Op. 120, Tender is the Sorrow for Flute, String Trio and Piano, Op. 130, 3 Night Songs for Mezzo-Soprano, Flute and Cello, Op. 125, 3 Poems of Osip Mandelstam for Soprano and Piano, Op. 23.
Catalogue Number: 11R072
Reference: CDE 84635
Description: This disc reveals a miniaturist of poetic refinement, to whom melodic expressiveness is important, more so than tonal harmony; her idiom is spare though not austere, with harmony mainly employed for coloristic effect, as in the more extrovert passages of the flute sonata or the Triple Portrait. The predominant mood is one of delicacy and restraint, though abrupt outbursts of turmoil occur in several of the longer pieces; even the Meditation unexpectedly breaks into a turbulent climax, as though unwanted nightmare recollections had suddenly intruded into an episode of tranquil pensiveness. The two sets of Mandelstam settings are key; the poems were written under the shadow of Stalin's Terror, and the music frames the texts' oblique, ambiguous, haunted commentaries on the commonplace and the beautiful, pervaded by melancholy yet very seldom releasing the pent-up tension in explicit protest, like all the pieces here. Marsyas Trio with Patrick Dawkins (violin), Morgan Goff (viola).