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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67511
Recording details: September 2004
Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: July 2005
Total duration: 12 minutes 19 seconds

'Evgeny Soifertis throws it all off in great style and musical intelligence' (BBC Music Magazine)

'None of these pieces was perhaps destined to change the course of Russian music, but they all attest to creative exuberance and skill, slightly anonymous in style maybe, though with a resourcefulness and sparkle to the piano-writing that Evgeny Soifertis communicates with élan' (The Daily Telegraph)

'it's hard to dismiss music that tries so hard to be likeable. Certainly, if you've been collecting the rest of Hyperion's 'Romantic Piano Concerto' series, you'll enjoy this latest addition as well. There are strong notes and typically fine Hyperion engineering' (International Record Review)

'Napravnik's Concerto symphonique throws just about everything into the melting pot, from Verdi's Requiem to Tchaikovsky. The Fantaisie opens arrestingly with a massive rendition of The Volga Boatmen, and if Blumenfeld's Allegro proves slightly less individual, in performances as fiery and impassioned as these, it makes an indelible impact' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Hyperion's recorded sound is excellent, soloist Evgeny Soifertis contributes impeccably manicured playing, and the orchestra performs with immaculate accuracy under Russian maestro Alexander Titov. So if you are interested in exploring the Romantic concerto literature at its most obscure, here's your opportunity' (Fanfare, USA)

'Star of the show is pianist Evgeny Soifertis … His bravura style is all there, but some pianissimo playing and tender melodic phrasing, not least in the slow movements, might have lifted the works out of obscurity' (Pianist)

'Evgeny Soifertis' effervescent, colourful virtuosity never fails to delight' (

'Both composers are fortunate in having as their champion here such a charming and polished virtuoso as Evgeny Soifertis, whose gift for combining an almost childlike simplicity with scintillating bravura is perfectly suited to the music at hand, and who receives splendid support from Titov and the BBCSSO' (Piano, Germany)

Fantaisie russe in B minor, Op 39

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Nápravník’s Fantaisie russe in B minor Op 39 was composed in 1881 and published in 1886. It was dedicated to one of Liszt’s favourite pupils, the Russian pianist Vera Timanova, who first performed it on February 1881 with great success, and subsequently played it often. Taneyev and Siloti also performed the work, and Tchaikovsky conducted it and held it in high esteem.

The Fantaisie is written in a free form, based on three Russian folk tunes. It begins with ‘The Volga Boatmen’, traditionally sung as the barges were hauled along the towpath—intensely physical labour. This theme is played forte by the full orchestra, accompanied by powerful chords in the lower register of the piano, the heavy texture keeping the music moving forwards at a steady pace. A modulation to the dominant, F sharp major, leads to the second theme (at 2'25''), a Russian dance, lighter in colour and more sprightly in nature (although the tempo remains the same). It is stated first by the soloist (piano, scherzando), before soaring octaves lead to a forte repetition by the orchestra combined with grandiose references to the first theme from the piano. The theme develops against the background of the piano’s continuing ostinato rhythm, before chordal exclamations announce a solo cadenza (at 3'59''), built on a development of the first theme and surrounded by extended trills which give it a more lyrical character. After further development of the second theme, the third tune—an impetuous dance full of unrestrained merriment—is introduced (at 7'52'') in D sharp major. The coda repeats this third theme, which then gives way to an expressive rendition of the second theme (andante) over a repeated pedal B from the piano; the music fades away before the work concludes with a presto flourish.

from notes by Evgeny Soifertis © 2005

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