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Vladimir REBIKOV(1866-1920) Piano music Feuilles d'Automne op. 29 (6) [18:31] Les Feux du Soir (5) (1904) [16:02] Mélomimiques op. 11 (2) [5:06] Les Rêves - Nereid op. 15 (1898) [5:46] Parmi eux op. 35 (Ils dansent, Danse avec
une cloche, Berceuse, Danse du quadrupède,
Elles dansent, Danse des petits) [9:23] Scènes Bucolique op. 28 (Dans les vignes, Pastorelle,Danse des Bergerettes, Danse des Bergers, Ronde
des elfes) [9:27] Trois Idylles op. 50 (Hymne au soleil, Dans
un vaste espace, Parmi les fleurs) (1913) [7:35] Fleurs d'Automnes (3) [7:00] Les Reves - Les Démons s'Amusent op. 15 [0:56].
Jouni Somero (piano)
rec. 13 Nov 2010, Kuusaa Hall, Kuusankoski, Finland. DDD
FC RECORDS FCRCD 9739 [77:48]
Finnish pianist Jouni Somero is a pianistic powerhouse. He vies
in multifarious enthusiasm for neglected composers with the
likes of Michael Ponti in his Vox piano concerto series in the
1970s. He has already given us five volumes of Finnish piano
music, a series of eight volumes of Bortkiewicz as well as single
disc selections by Godard and many others. This is the fifth
disc in his Russian Project. Previous instalments were: FCRCD-9720
Tchaikovsky 1; FCRCD-9724 Arensky; FCRCD-9728 Tchaikovsky 2;
Rebikov was born in Krasnoyarsk in Siberia and died at the age
of 54 in Yalta. By then his music had been largely forgotten.
His reputation fell into the crevasse between the Russian nationalists
and the 'modernists’ of the 1920s such as Lourié, Mosolov
and Roslavets. His first compositions were written to a salon
style-guide. But after a spell in Vienna his music took on a
grittier aspect. His opera The Christmas Tree includes
parts of sprechgesang à la Schoenberg. In his Turgenev-based
1916 opera The Gentry Nest the characters sing only
when the plot requires singing and otherwise speak – so the
result is part opera; part melodrama. He gave concerts across
Europe and met Debussy and Nedbal. He made his home in Yalta
in 1909 and died there some eleven years later.
The Feuilles d'Automne op. 29 (6) alternates
in style between the remorseless (in Tristezza) and
the salon MacDowell (in Pregando). Con afflizione
aspires beyond such inoffensive clichés with melancholy beauty.
The richly expressionistic Con dolore indulges in chordal
complexity. Con tristessa is more salon-like - rather
in the manner of Einaudi, oddly enough. These pieces, at least
when conventional, are grist to the mills of pianists looking
for mood-pieces for silent films. Les Feux du Soir (5)
(1904) has two pensive Lentos and a Sostenuto
that would fit rather nicely into the score for a romantic French
film of the 1950s. There are more MacDowell tributes in the
Andante and the Moderato. The two Mélomimiques
op. 11 comprise a heart-swelling sob of a Tempo ad libitum
and a gently musing Moderato. There are two pieces
from Les Rêves op. 15 (1898): Nereid seems
to be a watery creation.
The supernatural Parmi eux op. 35 includes Ils
dansent which is dankly Mussorgskian and heavy with doom,
a striking and icy ‘goblin dance’ under the title Danse
avec une cloche, a slow tolling dreamy Berceuse,
a gawky strut entitled Danse du quadrupède, a plangently
liquid and shivery Elles dansent and Danse des
petits which, contrary to expectations, is not at all innocent
and has a slight Scottish snap to it. In Scènes Bucolique
op. 28 Dans les vignes is truly exciting and transcends
the salon. Pastorelle is a dewy aubade of a piece.
Danse des Bergerettes evokes the skirl of the pipes
and has the classical poise of a Haydn symphony. Danse des
Bergers is more animated - glittering and crystalline.
Ronde des elfes has a title that might suggest Mendelssohn
but in fact is more Liadov.
Then come Trois Idylles op. 50: the impressive Hymne
au soleil, with its determined and decisive rhetorical
bell sounds tolled out molto forza, has a hard-edged
Petrushka-like attack; Dans un vaste espace,
which defies the title by being not at all like Scriabin, instead
appears to voice a lonely baying. Parmi les fleurs
suggests amethyst blooms and stems. Fleurs d'Automnes
is written in a style like a less complex Medtner, more sentimental
hearts and flowers MacDowellism. Les Démons s'Amusent
has a stony vitriolic edge – a wild dance.
The notes are by Petri Sariola and defeat the often barely acceptable
English language notes provided for other FC releases from Somero.
Anthony Goldstone recorded a Rebikov collection for The Divine
This is a stimulating collection with some surprises along the
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