Russian Soul - Revich / Babor
Ars Produktion ARS 38 121
Classical - Chamber
Anon: Variations on a russian Volk's theme opus
Sergej Rachmaninov (1873 – 1943): Serenade op. 3; Vocalise op. 34 no. 14 - arranged by Jasha Heifetz; Dance Hongroise op. 6 no. 2
Piotr Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893): Russian Dance op. 40 no. 10 from the Ballet “Swan Lake“; Valse Scherzo op. 2; Valse Sentimental op. 51 no. 6
Sergej Prokofiev (1891 – 1953): Sonata no. 2 for Violin and Piano op. 94
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 – 1975): 4 Piano Preludes op. 34/10, 15, 16 & 24
Alexander Scriabin (1871 – 1915): Etude op. 8 no. 10 - arranged by Szigeti
Reingold Moricevic Glièr (1874 – 1956): Romance op. 3
Milij Balakirev (1837 – 1910): Expromt
Alexander Glasunov (1865 – 1936): Meditation op. 32
Nikolaj Rimsky-Korsakov (1844 – 1908): “Flight of the Bumblebee“ from the Opera “Farytail about Tsar Saltan“
Yury Revich, Valentina Babor
- Mily Balakirev: Expromt
- Alexander Glazunov: Meditation, Op. 32
- Reinhold Gliere: Romance, Op. 3
- Serge Prokofiev: Violin Sonata No. 2 in D major, Op. 94bis
- Sergei Rachmaninov: 2 Morceaux de salon, Op. 6
- Sergei Rachmaninov: Morceaux de Fantaisie, Op. 3
- Sergei Rachmaninov: Vocalise, Op. 34 No. 14
- Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: The Tale of Tsar Sultan (1899-1900)
- Alexander Scriabin: 12 Etudes, Op. 8
- Dmitri Shostakovich: 24 Preludes Op. 34
- Peter Tchaikovsky: 6 Pieces for Piano, TH 143 Op. 51
- Peter Tchaikovsky: Souvenir de Hapsal, TH 125 Op. 2
- Peter Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake (Suite), TH 219 Op. 20a
Review by Adrian Quanjer - September 30, 2016
Not so long ago I reviewed a disk of Yury Revich, Vivaldi: The 4 Seasons / Piazzolla: Las Cuatro Estaciones - Revich / Schlaefli, who then was new to me and I was immediately impressed. Reason enough to delve a bit deeper, going back some years to listen to his first release with ARS-Produktion in high resolution: Russian Soul - Revich / Babor. At that time Revich had barely reached the age of twenty-one and had just set his first steps outside his home country (2009 Carnegie Hall and in 2013 La Scala, Milano). A rising star, but not yet in general view.
‘Russian Soul’ consists of a selection of original and arranged miniatures or short pieces of main stream Russian composers, with the exception of - for many - the ‘Variations on a Russian Folk Tune’ by Ivan Khandoshkin, to which is added as ‘piece de résistance’ Prokofiev’s second violin sonata. Together with his companion, Valentina Babor, an eminent pianist in her own right, devoting much of her time to forming a new generation of pianists, Revich treats us to a well-chosen recital, several pieces of which figured prominently in the repertoire of such eminent players as Jasha Heifetz and Joseph Szigeti.
This anthology of Russian melodies gives Revich ample opportunity to let his youthful star shine in sublime multi-channel sound, crafted by the ever so musically inspired Manfred Schumacher. Revich style may be characterized as combining the tonal beauty of Joshua Bell and the technical skill of Fritz Kreisler. Even at this young age, Revich plays with an authority surpassing many of his contemporaries. He is always ‘spot on’, never having to cover up weak intonation with excessive vibrato. For those who are sensitive to slight tonal variations this makes a huge difference in listening pleasure. Nothing stands in the way between the composer’s brain child and Revich’s rendition.
Comparing Prokofiev’s second sonata with Shlomo Mintz's account (DGG 423 575-2, with Yefim Bronfman at the piano) and disregarding the lesser sound quality, I find it difficult to say which one is to be preferred. Mintz was then 10 years older and should henceforth have been more mature in his vision. However, Revich’s contemplating spirit adds something different, deepens as it were the emotional content with less speed. These differences are nonetheless small and open to debate.
This violin sonata is an adaptation of an earlier flute sonata and, in fact, his first (though finalized after completion of the other, his first sonata). It is believed to have served as a kind of emotional release after having completed some heavy compositional stuff like ‘War and Peace’. Largely following a classical construction it is full of lyrical melodies and humorous elements. And that is how it should be played. Both do, albeit that Prokofiev's so typical musical ‘motorics’ are slightly more present by Mantz, and that Revich’s violin sings better. But that may also be due to the differences in recorded quality.
Whatever the case, of importance is that Revich is, in my view, not the lesser of the two. It once more underscores that his ‘Young Artist of the Year 2015’ International Classical Music Award and this year’s German ECHO Klassik prize in the category ‘Newcomer of the Year’, are totally justified and I do hope that he will soon be able to record some of the Grand Staple Repertoire with a major orchestra. In high resolution, of course!
Copyright © 2016 Adrian Quanjer and HRAudio.net