Friday, November 2, 2012

Daniel Blumenthal Plays Alexeï Stanchinky

Alexey Stanchinsky was something of a cult figure during and for a time after his short life: he died, perhaps by his own hand, aged 26 in 1914, having suffered from mental illness throughout his adult life. All his music is for solo piano, and it bears witness to a very sharp, intelligent intellect, quick to absorb fruitful influences but preserving a distinct individuality. There is something of Rachmaninov's lyricism, more of Scriabin's harmonic audacity in the early E-Flat Sonata, but also a highly personal love of drifting chords that are close to blues progressions. This returns in the Adagio of the so-called Sonata n° 1, though the chief influence here is the cabaret style of some of Debussy's short piano pieces. There are anticipations of Stravinsky's 1920s manner. The first of the 12 Sketches is not the only one to suggest admiration for Mussorgsky. With this goes a fascination for drawing music out of sometimes quite abstruse technical experiments. He loved irregular rhythms, and the Sketches include pieces not merely in quintuple time (something in which he may have been encouraged by his teacher, Taneyev) but in such awkward rhythms as 11/8 and even 17/8. They are always music.
Daniel Blumenthal has the measure of the swift, aphoristic Sketches, though he is sometimes a little fierce with them, and he lays out the sonatas with a sure hand for their forms. Some of the music has already been recorded by Nikolay Feofil on Etcetera (a selection of the Preludes and Sketches, and the Second Sonata). A revival of interest in Stanchinsky is welcome, and this record will well reward curiosity about him.'
John Warrack

Source :

Daniel Blumenthal
Alexeï Stanchinky


1 Piano Sonata in E-Flat minor - Moderato  9:46

Piano Sonata n° 1
2 I. Allegro  7:23
3 II. Adagio  5:53
4 III. Presto  3:19

Piano Sonata n° 2
5 I. Fuga - Lento espressivo  6:07
6 II. Presto  7:13

Three Sketches
7 N° 1. Allegro moderato  0:36
8 N° 2. Allegretto  1:14
9 N° 3. Presto tempestoso  1:18

Twelve Sketches, Op. 1
10 N° 1. Moderato  1:33
11 N° 2. Presto  0:55
12 N° 3. Vivace  0:40
13 N° 4. Lento cantabile  2:10
14 N° 5. Allegro  1:07
15 N° 6. Andante epico  2:42
16 N° 7. Adagio teneramente  2:06
17 N° 8. Molto vivace  1:08
18 N° 9. Largamente  1:58
19 N° 10. Con moto  1:07
20 N° 11. Allegro con spirito  1:01
21 N° 12. Presto assai  1:22


Daniel Blumenthal - p

Recorded at the Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heildelberg ; May & June, 1992

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