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Myron Silberstein
Fanfare, May 2016

The Minuets are the most complex and personal of the pieces on the disc. …Of particular note are the toccata-like, almost Bachian gestures in the Second and Sixth Minuets, along with the uncharacteristically chromatic, flirtatious subject of the third. The Danse Polonaise is surprisingly dark, full of bold, tumultuous arpeggios and almost operatic melody lines. The central trio features the military dotted rhythms of a traditional polonaise. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review



Sang Woo Kang
American Record Guide, March 2016

…Kostritsa’s work in collecting these dances is commendable, as is his approach. In the Polonaises, his straightforward playing captures well the simple phrasing, form, and rather nondescript melody. …these works are pleasing. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2015

The stunningly beautiful Maria Szymanowska captured the hearts of many, both with her charm and keyboard skills that gave rise to a catalogue of solo works. Born in Poland in 1789 to financially well-placed parents, Marianna WoĊ‚owska’s gifts at the keyboard were manifold as a child, and after becoming a sensation in the Warsaw salons, she was sent to Paris to broaden her horizons both musically and personally. Her subsequent marriage to the wealthy Józef Szymanowski, was to prove a failure, and she returned to the life of a touring performer under her married name. It was a particularly arduous tour in 1831 that took her to St. Petersburg where she caught cholera and died at the age of forty-one. Her output of pretty dances included Twenty-four Mazurkas that were mostly aimed at the talented amateur, her style generally derived from Mozart, and their content a simple and pleasing tune that often lasts, quite literally, only a few seconds, and often ends in mid-air. They have no link with Chopin’s Mazurkas that were yet to come, the most extended track on the disc forming the finale of the Eighteen Dances, and is a Cotillon that lasts seven minutes. The Moscow-born pianist, Alexander Kostritsa, has little material of substance to work with, and if he had tried to add any personal touches—and that would have been difficult—he would, no doubt, be accused of tampering. The recording made last year in Cleveland, USA, is bright, clear, and does not make us aware that he is playing a restored period Steinway piano that would link the performances back in time. © 2015 David’s Review Corner





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