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BALAKIREV, Mili Alekseyevich (1837-1910)

COMPLETE PIANO WORKS • 4


  • Nicholas Walker, piano

This fourth volume in Nicholas Walker’s complete edition of Balakirev’s piano music is structured around his three Scherzos, which take us from the youthful influence of Chopin and Liszt in the First Scherzo, to the music of his prolific final decade, from which the Second Scherzo is one of his finest compositions. Balakirev’s interest in Spanish music was kindled by his mentor Glinka, creating surprisingly authentic sounding textures and rhythms, and the programme is topped with the elegantly masterful poetry of the two Valse-Caprices.

Tracklist

1
Scherzo No. 1 in B Minor (1856) (00:07:40)
2
Novelette in A Major (1906) (00:05:54)
3
10 Songs (1896): No. 2. Pustïnya (The Wilderness) (version for piano) (1896) (00:03:14)
4
Scherzo No. 2 in B-Flat Minor (1900) (00:07:52)
5
Fandango-étude (1856) * (00:05:52)
6
Sérénade espagnole (1902) (00:04:40)
7
Glinka - Jota aragonesa (version for piano) (1864) (00:10:56)
8
Berlioz - La fuite en Egypte: Ouverture (1864) (00:06:32)
9
Scherzo No. 3 in F-Sharp Major (1901) (00:05:29)
10
Mélodie espagnole () (00:03:19)
11
Taneyev - Valse-Caprice No. 1 in A-Flat Major (1900) (00:05:57)
12
Taneyev - Valse-Caprice No. 2 in D-Flat Major (1900) (00:06:10)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:13:35

The Artist(s)

Nicholas Walker studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the Moscow Conservatoire. Winner of the first Newport International Piano competition, he has performed with major British orchestras, given recitals worldwide, and recorded for the BBC, BMG Arte Nova, ASV, Chandos and Danacord labels.

The Composer(s)

A brilliant pianist, improviser, noted conductor and selfless champion of other composers, Balakirev is surprisingly little known today. Yet as leader of the Russian composers known as ‘The Mighty Handful’, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky, Borodin and Cui, he strongly influenced not only their work but also that of Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Ravel and Stravinsky, setting the standard by which others were judged. In addition to a large output of piano music and songs, Balakirev wrote two symphonies, several symphonic poems, works for piano and orchestra, choral music and incidental music for Shakespeare’s King Lear.

Reviews

“Walker’s artistry benefits from vivid, realistic, full-bodied, and well-balanced sound, with well-defined piano tone and ample color” – Fanfare

“Very special piano music, virtuosic, intelligent and sparkling. Highly recommended.” – Stretto