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Stephen Barber
MusicWeb International, May 2017

These performances are well prepared and committed. Elisaveta Blumina has a lovely delicate tone in the meditative works by Silvestrov and Kancheli but is appropriately robust and somewhat steely in the Ustvolskaya. The Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra does not seem a large ensemble but is sufficient for these works. The recording was made in a radio studio but does not lack ambience. This is a good introduction to all three composers for those who do not know them; devotees of Silvestrov and Kancheli will want to snap up the two premiere recordings. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Rob Haskins
American Record Guide, March 2017

A marvelous release with everything right: good music, good playing, and good production.

The performances are superb and the sound a noteworthy example of what a recorded piano should sound like. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Gavin Dixon
Fanfare, January 2017

Excellent performances are given throughout from Blumina and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra under Thomas Sanderling. This music isn’t about virtuosity or high-level technical skills, but the sheer amount of rhythmic unison and the radical simplicity of the textures make perfect ensemble and tuning a key requirement, and that is exactly what we hear. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, December 2016

…very worthwhile, contentful release. Both Blumina and Sanderling/Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra put a good deal of care and commitment into the realizations. The results are quite exemplary. Bravo! © 2016 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review



Werner Theurich
Spiegel Online, November 2016

Elisaveta Blumina handles Silvestrov’s silky textures with sensitivity, and the orchestra supports her with easy precision. This is another album from Grand Piano, the commendable label focusing on piano music that is off the beaten track and repeatedly presenting the most beautiful discoveries. © 2016 Spiegel Online



Christoph Schl├╝ren
Klassik heute, November 2016

Interpretations and sound quality score quite high marks, as do the booklet notes. © 2016 Klassik heute




JH
Concerti, November 2016

The musicians find great empathy with the spirit of this music and achieve an overwhelming intensity…transitions are managed seamlessly and the melting tone is constantly soothing on the ear. © 2016 Concerti



Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, October 2016

This is a unique coupling occupying itself with Russia’s ‘new spiritualism’. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Gavin Dixon
Classical CD Reviews, October 2016

Excellent performances throughout from Blumina and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra under Thomas Sanderling. This music isn’t about virtuosity or high level technical skills, but the sheer amount of rhythmic unison and the radical simplicity of the textures make perfect ensemble and tuning a key requirement, and that is exactly what we hear. © 2016 Classical CD Reviews Read complete review




Norman Lebrecht
Musical Toronto, September 2016

Elisaveta Blumina, Dublin-based, is the capable soloist, and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra play well for Londoner Thomas Sanderling, whose father conducted the second performances of many of Shostakovich’s works. © 2016 Musical Toronto Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2016

Four little known works for piano and chamber orchestra from composers educated and working in the Soviet Union during the turbulent years of the Twentieth Century. Born in 1919, Galina Ustvolskaya disliked the often used gender term ‘female composer’, and equally the description of ‘a pupil of Shostakovich’. She certainly was in his class but her music was not influenced by him, and neither did she particularly like him. Maybe the intransigence of Hindemith in his inaccessible period would be a more appropriate simile for a Piano Concerto that does not reach out in an easy acceptability. Whether or not it was intended, there is a cold desolation—it was composed in Leningrad just after the young woman had survived the merciless siege in the Second War—and that becomes increasingly disturbing in the work’s unbroken nineteen minutes. In his present guise, Valentin Silvestrov could hardly be more different. In the Four Postludes, scored for piano and strings, he explores the lyric beauty of sound, the tempos often expansive and with predominantly quiet dynamics. The Hymn is more outgoing and verges on the ‘pop’ classic market, though its slow moments continues in the Postlude mode. Giya Kancheli was born two years earlier in 1935, but stylistically belongs to the same school of composition, with music born out of silence, stillness, and a romanticism dominated by beauty. There is action in the central part, before the work ends, as it began, in silence. This, as you will gather, is a strange programme that is held together by the Russian-born soloist, Elisaveta Blumina, her gift of extracting from a percussive instrument a vast range of sounds and dynamics is riveting. She is well served by the famous Stuttgart Orchestra, conducted by Thomas Sanderling, the engineers of the South-west German radio placing this on disc last year. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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