One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
Google seem to have closed down local search engines. You can use this FreeFind engine but it is not so comprehensive
You can go to Google itself and enter the search term followed by the search term.


International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati




simply marvellous

Outstanding music

Elite treatment

some joyous Gershwin

Bartok String Quartets
uniquely sensitive

Cantatas for Soprano


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Emancipation of Consonance
Valery ARZUMANOV (b. 1944)
Excerpts from 27 Light Pieces for Piano, Op. 74 (1985) [21:53]
Leonid DESYATNIKOV (b. 1955)
Echoes of Theatre (1985) [15:54]
Vladimir RYABOV (b. 1950)
Russian songs arranged for piano, from Opp. 73 and 74 (1989-1990) [30:23]
Lukas Geniušas, piano
rec. 2015 (dates and location not provided)
MELODIYA MELCD1002409 [68:10]

Lukas Geniušas, a prodigious pianist who will soon turn 26, here presents an album of music from the 1980s celebrating the “new simplicity” of late Soviet composers. As he writes in his booklet essay, this music is “a reaction to the domination of a radical avant-garde in mainstream academic music”. Many of the pieces presented here are transcriptions of, or fantasies on, Russian folk songs, Soviet work songs, and popular tunes.

Valery Arzumanov’s cycle of 27 Light Pieces is a collection of such things. The fourteen excerpts here last only 1-2 minutes each, and have titles like ‘Jester’ and ‘The Last Waltz’. They are written for student pianists, and fit nicely into the repertoire of clever music for the young. There’s a short homage to Mahler (though to me it seems more Schubertian, which I mean as a compliment to its simple lyrical beauty), and some witty character pieces, like a restless little work full of nervous energy, called ‘Fidget.’

Leonid Desyatnikov is legitimately well-known outside of Russia, for his Vivaldi-quoting classical version of the Piazzolla Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. Here we get a suite called Echoes of Theatre, taken from his music for puppet shows. It’s a wonderful piece, ranging from the can-can charm-riot that is “Vaudeville” to the haunting soft melody which so memorably evokes “Handbells.” (The latter might just be the best track on the disc.)

A Vladimir Ryabov orchestral album appeared on Marco Polo many years ago, but this is the first time I’ve heard any of his music. He has arranged Russian folk songs and hymns, so this isn’t necessarily a collection of original tunes. At a minimum you’ll recognize the ‘Song of the Volga Boatmen’, given a six-minute theme-and-variations of increasing intensity. ‘Down Piterskaya Street’ is a tune from Stravinsky’s Petrushka, though Ryabov adds a dazzling layer of showy pianistic effects and virtuosic leaps. ‘The Lonely Coach-Bell Rings Monotonously’ is a more romantic, Chopinesque piece than the name suggests. (From the title, I expected something like Ravel’s “Le gibet”.)

There aren’t any major masterpieces on this well-recorded and very well-played CD. But the music is all very attractive, and some of the miniatures are truly wonderful. I’d be happy if Desyatnikov’s “Handbells” became a staple of the encore repertory. “Down Piterskaya Street” would make a good prelude to a performance of Three Movements from Petrushka. This CD is mainly for hardcore pianophiles, but they will enjoy it thoroughly.

Brian Reinhart



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger