"Silvestrov is a passionate personality. Yet, paradoxically, his music, while having great power of expression, has a soft character. His work is characterized by a gentle anger, almost certainly inspired by injustices suffered under a Soviet system to which he never succumbed, Silvestrov christened this CD "70 minutes happiness set against 1000 years of misery". It was such a thrill for me, that this wonderful composer, dedicated two Waltzes in my honour, after I finally met him."–Elisaveta Blumina

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© Roberto Masotti

Piano music is central to Valentin Silvestrov’s output. With its frequent allusions to lingering recollections of the past, this programme presents an overview of various creative periods. It begins with the composer’s reworkings of youthful sketches (Naive Musik), followed by Der Bote (The Messenger) with its beautiful Mozartian theme leading into a sonatina in the style of the 18th century. After recent works from Silvestrov’s self–defined ‘Bagatelle’ period, the recording concludes with the striking Kitschmusik, which engages with the music of Schumann, Chopin and Brahms. The Two Waltzes are dedicated to Elisaveta Blumina.

There are very few CDs dedicated to the piano works of Valentin Silvestrov, but having composed something like 200 cycles this is a resource of repertoire which deserves to be more richly mined. With a carefully selected program which represents Silvestrov’s ‘Naïve’, ‘Metaphorical’ and latest ‘Bagatelle’ periods, this release is a one–stop overview of some of his best solo piano works. Elisaveta Blumina’s "outstanding technique and musicianship" (Tallahassee Democrat) and her championing of Silvestrov’s piano and chamber music has brought her closer than most to the idiomatic variety presented on this disc, and with dedications of some of his more recent pieces to her, this recording can be considered as distinctly authoritative.


NAIVE MUSIK (1954–55, REV. 1993) * (26:36)
1  No. 1. Waltz (03:42)
2  No. 2. Nocturne (02:36)
3  No. 3. Fairy Tale (06:53)
4  No. 4. Idyll (04:43)
5  No. 5. Nocturne (02:14)
6  No. 6. Prelude (02:06)
7  No. 7. Waltz (04:22)

– VERSION FOR PIANO (1996/97) (07:30)

2 WALT ZES, OP. 153 (2009) * (04:25)
9  No. 1. Allegro assai (01:57)
10  No. 2. Allegretto (02:28)

4 PIECES, OP. 2 (2006) (09:01)
11  No. 1. Lullaby: Moderato (02:46)
12  No. 2. Pastorale: Vivace (02:02)
13  No. 3. Bagatelle: Moderato (02:12)
14  No. 4. Postludium: Moderato (02:01)


2 BAGATELLES, OP. 173 (2011) * (03:34)
15  No. 1. Moderato (01:27)
16  No. 2. Andantino (02:07)

KITSCHMUSIK (1977) (14:52)
17  I. Allegro vivace (03:24)
18  II. Moderato (03:57)
19  III. Allegretto (03:02)
20  IV. Moderato (02:43)
21  V. Allegretto (01:46)

* World Première Recordings


Elisaveta Blumina
© David Gazarov

Elisaveta Blumina began her studies in her native St Petersburg at the Rimsky Korsakov Conservatory. A child prodigy, she made her concert début as a soloist at the age of sixteen with the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra in Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Her highly acclaimed performance of her beloved Brahms was the start of a long and fruitful association with the music of this great German composer, bringing her to Hamburg where she continued her studies at the University of Music and Theatre and later at the Conservatoire in Berne (among her teachers were András Schiff, Evgeni Koroliov, Radu Lupu and Bruno Canino) winning the International Brahms Piano Competition along the way. Elisaveta Blumina has been recognized as one of the most important interpreters of the modern repertoire. Her Mieczysłav Weinberg recordings have brought her international acclaim. Her career has taken her from halls such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Laeisz–Halle in Hamburg to Carnegie Hall in New York. She is frequently invited to appear at significant music festivals including the Schleswig–Holstein and Verbier festivals. She also has been invited by Gidon Kremer to the Lockenhaus Festival. She is an artistic director of the Russian Chamber Music Festival Hamburg.

Grand Piano is a new premium label dedicated to the exploration of undiscovered keyboard repertoire. Pulling from a deep pool of talent around the globe, Grand Piano brings to life exciting interpretations of these gems of the piano repertoire. Grand Piano will release around 20 new titles each year, including many world premières and complete cycles.
GP611   GP617
"This was certainly the most intriguing new cycle of 2012 based on the criterion of revival of little–known yet often high–quality music."
  "Fresh and wonderfully alive"
American Record Guide
GP608   GP632
"Makes me want to shout with delight... A wonderful disc altogether!"
– MusicWeb International

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