‘Volume 3 brings together the remaining published piano works of Semyon Barmotin, and introduces us to one of his most dramatic and monumental pieces, the Op.10 “Ballade”. Epic in structure and a pianistic tour de force, this remarkable piece starts with a dark and brooding opening, which gives the story a rather foreboding prologue. Eventually the tension eases, and the listener is taken on an emotional roller-coaster full of romance, heroic virtuosity and unrelenting intensity. As a pianist (and surfer!), one of the highlights is the stormy middle section where Barmotin creates waves of sound by alternating fiendish runs between the hands, which ebb and flow up and down the keyboard.

In contrast to the colossus that is the Ballade, the Op.5 and Op.6 sets of pieces show Barmotin at his most concise, with a series of piano miniatures; evocative and yet substantial character pieces. The glittering Valse capricieuse transports us directly to a magical Ball with a beautifully crafted waltz sequence. The Mazurka rustique is wonderfully Russian in flavour, and the finale of the album, the Valse-Scherzo, is a whirlwind of colour.’ – Christopher Williams

Listen to an excerpt from Ballade in B flat minor, Op. 10