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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

LEBRECHT LISTENS | Peter Jablonski’s Scriabin Is One Of The Years Best (So Far)

By Norman Lebrecht on April 10, 2020

Scriabin: Mazurkas (Ondine)

★★★★★

🎧 Spotify | Apple Music | Amazon

It has taken a global pandemic and lockdown for me to discover that the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin wrote a sheaf of mazurkas, which are Polish, and made them sound every bit as ethereal as Chopin at his most consumptive.

I had always taken the view that Scriabin was best taken in small doses, preferably played by Vladimir Horowitz who believed in his manic genius. Having listened now to 80 minutes of Peter Jablonski I am not only prepared to revise my opinion: I am left hungering for more.

Jablonski, a Swede who used to be on Decca, has a taste for Baltic music and a touch that seems better suited to the Fazioli piano than the once-obligatory Steinway. He finds, in these lilting country dances, shades of philosophical contemplation, daring — more even than Horowitz does, to slow things down so we can admire the dappled shadow of an oak-leaf on an unrippled lake.

The first ten Mazurkas, opus 3, are teenaged exercises. The next nine, opus 25, are mature and muscular, drifting meditatively towards the edges of tonality. Jablonski has a hypnotic way with these miniatures, connecting them elliptically to draw us into the big picture he is painting. This is a remarkable piano album, one of the year’s best so far.

To read more from Norman Lebrecht, follow him on Slippedisc.com.

Norman Lebrecht’s new book Genius and Anxiety is available now.

#LUDWIGVAN

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Norman Lebrecht

Norman Lebrecht is one of the most widely-read commentators on music, culture and cultural politics. He is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 3 and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Standpoint, Sinfini and other publications. His blog, Slipped Disc, is among the most widely read cultural sites online, breaking exclusive stories and campaigning against human abuse and acts of injustice in the cultural industries.

Norman Lebrecht

Norman Lebrecht is one of the most widely-read commentators on music, culture and cultural politics. He is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 3 and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Standpoint, Sinfini and other publications. His blog, Slipped Disc, is among the most widely read cultural sites online, breaking exclusive stories and campaigning against human abuse and acts of injustice in the cultural industries.
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Ludwig Van Toronto

INTERVIEW | Composer/Conductor Eric Whitacre Talks About ‘Virtual Choir 6: Sing Gently’

By Paula Citron on July 17, 2020

Grammy Award-winning American composer and conductor Eric Whitacre talks about inventing virtual choirs, and putting together his sixth iteration of the art form for the pandemic, 'Virtual Choir 6: Sing Gently'.
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THE SCOOP | Opera Atelier Announces Surprise 35th Anniversary Season Featuring Fully Staged Productions

By Michael Vincent on August 5, 2020

Toronto’s Opera Atelier have announced two fully staged productions to be live streamed at Koerner Hall this season.
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LEBRECHT LISTENS | A Schnittke And Kapustin Revival By Cello

By Norman Lebrecht on July 31, 2020

The compositions of Nikolai Kapustin and Alfred Schnittke see a revival via works for cello in this recent recording by German cellist Eckart Runge and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra.
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