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ClassicsOnline Home » STRAVINSKY: Sonata / Serenade / 3 Movements from Petrushka
The riot that took place at the first performance, in Paris, of Stravinsky’s ballet, Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring), brought a notoriety to the young composer that placed him in the vanguard of contemporary music. In later years he passed through a neo-classical period before he finally adopted an astringent modernism. His output for solo piano consists of just seventeen original works which provide a comprehensive overview of the composer’s stylistic changes. This disc features the simplicity of Les cinq doigts (Eight easy pieces), the lyrical Sonata and the dazzling Three Movements from Petrushka, one of the composer’s most popular works.
By Robert Cummings
"Stravinsky's output for piano was rather small...Maybe this inexpensive, well-played Naxos CD will advance their cause. This recording closes with the famous Petrouchka pieces (1921), and Hill delivers them with the requisite spirit of playfulness and mischief...Hill really takes well to the Sonata's (1924) neo-Classical nature, infusing just the right amount of energy in the driving first movement, delineating both voices in this two-part affair with a deft ear for detail...Hill is also quite compelling in the other two movements of this 10-minute work. Hill renders the delightful Eight Easy Pieces (1920-21) in an appropriately straightforward manner, allowing the charm of these miniatures to come through. Piano Rag Music (1919) is delivered with delicious humor and a brilliant sense for rhythm. Tango (1940), Chorale (1920), and Serenade (1925) are also played with a keen feeling that captures the composer's more subtle side. Hill has received much acclaim for his performances and recordings of music by Messiaen, Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern. Thus, he is quite at home in the 20th-century keyboard realm, as this disc presents further testament. The sound is fine; the notes are illuminating. Another Naxos CD whose price and artistry make this purchase a high priority."
The riot that took place on the first night of his ballet, Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring), brought notoriety to the young Russian composer, Igor Stravinsky. In subsequent years he passed through a neo-classical period that embraced the style of the Baroque era, before finally adopting an astringent modernism. His output for solo piano, composed over much of his creative life, was limited to seventeen original works, and provides a comprehensive view of the changes in style that took place. From the jazzy Les cinq doigts (Eight easy pieces) to the Baroque purity of the Sonata, only the piano adaptation of three movements from his ballet Petrushka does Stravinsky yield to the demands for a display of extrovert virtuosity.
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