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Leonid Alekseevic POLOVINKIN (1894-1949)
Piano Works
Suite for Piano "Dzuba"
Evénements (2), Op. 5
Danse lyrique, Op. 20
Humoresques (2)
Suite for Piano "Les Attraits"
Sonata for Piano no 4
Anait Karpova (piano)
rec. Conservatoire Royale de Bruxelles, Great Concert Hall, 10-12 August 2007 and 31 January 2008. DDD
FUGA LIBERA FUG555 [60:08]
Experience Classicsonline

Polovinkin was born in Siberia but moved with his parents to Moscow. There he studied at the University and qualified in the law having at the same time studied music with Miaskovsky, Gliere and Catoire. He was utterly dedicated and alongside his work at the Central Children's Theatre in Moscow wrote nine symphonies, twelve operas for children, a piano concerto, five piano sonatas, four string quartets, two trios and two keyboard quartets as well as much for the cinema and theatre. His music can loosely be grouped with that of Lourié, Mossolov, Protopopov, Wyschnegradsky, Golyschev and Obouhov.

The “Dzuba” suite is dedicated to Natalia Sats, the Director of the Children's Theatre Moscow. The five movement suite is angular, charming and frolicsome. Similarly gawky is the Danse Lyrique of 1929, written seven years before “Dzuba”. It compares with the glinting and slow swirling vortex that is Humoresque. The Les Attraits is Prokofiev-quirky and motoristic. There is much more dank and brooding dissonance in the Septième Evènement. The Valse is more placid but is far from straightforward. The finale Berceuse is all gauzy suggestion and shivering drapes of sound. The expressionist-impressionism of the Evènements continues into the Deux Evènements. The Fourth Piano Sonata from 1927 is surreal, fantastic and romantic yet filtered through layers of fracture and dissonance, suggestion and sepia tints.

Fascinating and a necessary corrective to any impression we might have harboured from our familiarity with the piano works of Rachmaninov, Medtner, Prokofiev or Shostakovich.

Tougher music from the deeps of the Soviet era.

Rob Barnett



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