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David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2019

Nikita Koshkin was born in Moscow in 1956, and, with no family background in music, took up the guitar, becoming a virtuoso concert performer and a composer.

Outside of that world his name is still little known, though he has a sizeable portfolio of works for the instrument, of which his 24 Preludes and Fugues are part of an ongoing fascination with that musical format begun by Johann Sebastian Bach. Composed over the years 2008 to 2010, after the solemn dignity of his famous predecessor, Koshkin takes a very varied view of the potential offered in writing for the 24 different key signatures. One moment it is almost in the world of light music that falls readily on the ear, and in the next we are verging on the world of atonality. There are passages well within the scope of a competent student that give way to the need of virtuosity in both hands, the new sounds he creates including the use of the instrument for percussion effects. Then we have in the Fifth Prelude a soft-centred piece of sentimental nostalgia, only for the Fugue of the Seventh as if from Bach himself, while a formal and conventional Prelude makes a most attractive opening to the Tenth. So it is that throughout you have not the slightest idea what to expect. I guess it poses many technical challenges, but the most difficult aspect has to be the creation of a cohesive composition. I hope Koshkin is happy with this World Premiere Recording made by the much travelled Russian guitarist, Asya Selyutina at three sessions recorded between 2012 and 2016. Her playing seems exemplary and the recorded quality is excellent. A second disc is scheduled for future release, but do take a look at the disc’s gorgeous cover painting which is by the soloist. © 2019 David’s Review Corner

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