Consummate pianist Marianna Rashkovetsky has released her 4th album on the Americus Label, and what a fabulous album it is. A wonderful selection of Nocturnes, Mazurkas, Etudes and the somewhat neglected and technically difficult Polonaise-Fantasie in A-flat Major, Op. 61.
15 Tracks – Total Time: 64:35
Consummate pianist Marianna Rashkovetsky has released her 4th album on the Americus Label, and what a fabulous album it is. A wonderful selection of Nocturnes, Mazurkas, Etudes, and the somewhat neglected and technically difficult Polonaise-Fantasie in A-flat Major, Op. 61. This is an album you simply must have if you love Chopin.
From The Album Notes:
My love of playing Chopin’s miniatures surprises me — much as Bach becoming my favorite composer surprises me. During my years of study, I was taught to play, and did play, the so-called grand forms (sonatas, concertos, etc.). But over time, I began to realize that miniatures could be remarkably vibrant and rich. Chopin’s “salon music” is more than simply entertaining, and it is certainly not inconsequential! These works provide a continuing challenge for pianists, sometimes technically, but always interpretively. Many performers return to them throughout their career to find previously undiscovered beauty with each return.
Chopin challenges the listener, too. Although superficially easy to listen to, his miniatures have depth and charm conveyed with shimmering elegance, nuanced melancholy, and an underlying sense of tragedy. For example, the Muzurka in a minor, Op. 17, No. 4, with its major-key fragment is music in the fullest sense. For much of the piece, the music circles in desperation until finally a heartrending cry explodes into the music — perhaps like someone trapped and looking for an escape, and who, when finding none, cries out in despair.
Complete Album Notes...
Marianna Rashkovetsky – Pianist
Russian-born Marianna Rashkovetsky has beguiled both critics and audiences with her vivacious and authoritative performances, evoking enthusiastic comparisons to such celebrated pianists as Glenn Gould and Rosalyn Tureck. The distinguished critic Jed Distler, writing for Classics Today about Ms. Rashkovetsky’s 2002 album on the Angelok label, praised her playing as eloquent and ravishing, with “imagination and character at every turn.” Other critics have noted her “magical” music making, “dramatic temperament,” and “masterful delivery.”
Ms. Rashkovetsky is a musical descendant of Heinrich Neuhaus, a giant of Russian piano pedagogy, whose students included Richter and Gilels. Ms. Rashkovetsky studied with Neuhaus protégée, Lina Bulatova, at Moscow’s Gnessin Academy of Music, earning a master’s degree from that institution.
Currently, Ms. Rashkovetsky teaches private students at her piano studio and also serves on the faculty of the Indian Hill Music Center in Littleton, Massachusetts, west of Boston. Her students have been frequent prize winners at local and regional competitions and have performed at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York City. Ms. Rashkovetsky maintains an active concert schedule both in the U.S. and Europe where her engagements include solo, chamber music and orchestral soloist performances. Her performances at prominent international music festivals, including Les Floraisons Musicales, Musique en Euroregions, and Nancyphonies in France, Armonie Sotta la Roca in Italy, and Promenade in Germany, have invoked high praise from fellow musicians and audiences alike.
She was honored to be invited to perform as a soloist with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Constantine Orbelian; the Sebestyen String Orchestra with Katalin Sebestyen conducting; the Indian Hill Symphony, under the baton of Bruce Hangen; and, the Ventura Festival Orchestra, with Navroj Mehta. In March 2007, Ms. Rashkovetsky performed the Grieg Piano Concerto with the New York Scandia Symphony Orchestra, Dorrit Matson conductor. Her most recent appearances have been with the International Music Festival in Portofino, Italy and PianoEchoes in Monferrato, Italy. Ms. Rashkovetsky’s knowledge of repertoire is sweeping; she performs works from the Baroque period to those by contemporary composers. Her interpretation of Scarlatti, J.S. Bach, and Chopin has earned accolades. Ms. Rashkovetsky has worked directly with American composer Gerald Shapiro and French composer Francoise Choveaux. In April 2005, Rashkovetsky premiered Choveaux’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, in Messina Italy. In addition to her work as a pedagogue and concert pianist, Ms. Rashkovetsky has recorded privately and for the Americus and Angelok labels. Her recordings, which have elicited glowing critical notice, present works by J.S. Bach, Scarlatti, Schubert, Liszt, Grieg, Chopin, and Brahms.