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Chopin, F.: Scherzo No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 20
Chopin, F.: Scherzo No. 2 in B flat Minor, Op. 31
Chopin, F.: Scherzo No. 3 in C sharp Minor, Op. 39
Chopin, F.: Scherzo No. 4 in E Major, Op. 54
Chopin, F.: Minor & Unpublished Works
The 4 Scherzi were composed within a span of less than a decade, from 1835 to 1843. They are recognized as some of the most important works by Chopin, and understandably so when we evaluate their contribution to pianism and to the genre (Chopin is the inventor of the large-scale scherzo for piano). From the tragic introduction and harmonic clashes that surround a lullaby in the Scherzo in B Minor, Op. 20 to the celebrated hair-raising questions that open the Second Scherzo, Op. 31, to the fantastical effects of the Scherzo in C-sharp Minor, Op. 39, to the fairylike world depicted in the Scherzo in E Major, Op. 54, Chopin traces not only his path to maturity, but also revolutionary means in the way he treated the piano and its infinite potential.
On his deathbed, Chopin asked (twice) to have all his unpublished works destroyed – a wish that was not honored. Had it been the case, we would have been deprived of more than forty works, among which seventeen songs for soprano and piano, and some of Chopin’s most iconic pieces, such as the Fantasy Impromptu, Op. 66 and the Waltz in A-flat Major “L’adieu” (Op. 69, No. 1). The present recording offers a generous group of works that escaped that terrible destiny, along with some other brief pages penned in friends’ albums and known as “dedication manuscripts.” Among them stand out exercises in composition such as the Fugue in A Minor and a fragment of a Canon in F Minor; delightful album leaves such as the Cantabile in B-flat Major and the Contredanse in G-flat Major; a tragic Funeral March in C Minor from Chopin’s teenage years; and two Bourrees found among George Sand’s papers, and thought to be incidental music written to accompany some of Maurice’s Sand’s marionette theater performances during Chopin’s last sojourn at Nohant (Sand’s ancestral summer home in the Berry). All these brief creations narrate perhaps of a more private Chopin – an aspect that is not commonly shared on the concert stage.
Evgeny Starodubtsev studied with Natalia Trull at the Moscow Conservatory. He is the First-Prize winner of 30 piano competitions around the world. Born in 1981, Evgeny has given recitals and concert tours in Russia (Bolshoy hall, Moscow), Germany (Konzerthaus, Berlin), Spain (Palau de lá Musica, Barcelona), The Netherlands (Concertgebouw Hall, Amsterdam), Italy (La Nuova Fenice, Osimo; Sala Maffeiana, Verona), Serbia (Kolarac, Belgrade), Canada (Jack Singer, Calgary), and, among others, in France, Thailand, Lithuania. For our label, Mr. Starodubtsev has just recorded the complete Piano Sonatas by Scriabin, and "Vingt regards sur l’Enfant Jesus" by Messiaen.
The album was recorded and produced by Alessandro Simonetto using a new Steinway D-274 and Brüel & Kjær (4009, 4006) double pair and Prism Sound pres/converters.
Recorded @ Saletta acustica 'Eric James', Pove del Grappa,