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CR-104. Russian concertos. Katerina Zaitseva, Nikita Fitenko, Alexander Tutunov.

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CR-104. Russian concertos. Katerina Zaitseva, Nikita Fitenko, Alexander Tutunov.

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Weight: 120 g

To hear three Russian concertos (two of them infrequently-played) performed by three Russian pianists on a single CD is a unique opportunity. The three works represent roughly three generations of late 19th - early 20th century composers.

Peter Tchaikovsky. Concert Fantasy for piano and orchestra in G major, op.56.
In 1884 when Tchaikovsky began writing his Concert Fantasy, he had already written his first two piano concertos. Tchaikovsky started composing the work in the middle of July 1884 and finished the Fantasy on September 4. The Concert Fantasy was dedicated to Sofia Menter and was first performed in Moscow on February 22, 1885. Sergei Taneyev, composer and pianist, Tchaikovsky's favorite pupil and friend throughout all his life, was the soloist, and the orchestra was conducted by Max Erdmansderfer.
Modest Tchaikovsky, the brother of the composer, noted that the work was made up of the "remains" that were not used in other Tchaikovsky compositions (mostly the Third Suite). The work consists of two movements. The first movement is a synthesis of rondo and sonata forms and contains the longest cadenza ever written, full of virtuoso brilliance and bright colors. The second movement, Contrastes, is a cycle of variations also based on the idea of a rondo. This movement was first conceived as the first movement of the Third Suite.
Alexander Scriabin. Piano Concerto in F sharp minor, op.20.
Scriabin began working on his Piano Concerto in 1896. In the fall of that year, he brought the first two movements to Sergei Taneyev, who highly praised the work of such a young composer. In 1897 the Concerto was orchestrated with the help of Lyadov, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Taneyev. The first performance took place on October 11, 1897, in Odessa, conducted by Scriabin's teacher, Safonov, with the composer as soloist. According to Safonov, the work had an enormous success; however it was not very well received by critics who condemned the work for its orchestration and performance and called it an imitation of Chopin.
Indeed, this Concerto has a strong affinity with the style of Chopin, who was Scriabin's favorite composer in those years. It is also influenced to some extend by the music of Scriabin's classmate from the Moscow Conservatory, Sergei Rachmaninoff. However without any doubt, this early work demonstrates Scriabin's unique compositional style.
Alexander Glazunov. Piano Concerto no.2 in B major, op.100.
Alexander Glazunov is one of the most important Russian composers of the end of the 19th - beginning of the 20th centuries. His eclectic compositional style combines the best traits of the Russian 19th century music: polyphony of Taneyev; imagery of the composers of the Mighty Five; colorful orchestration of Rimsky-Korsakov; and the lyricism of Tchaikovsky. Even though Glazunov's style is described by many critics as conservative, his music is full of rich and vivid colors and possesses a high inner integrity as well as clarity of form and diversity in harmony.
Glazunov's most popular works today are the ballets, The Seasons and Raymonda. He also composed eight symphonies, a number of other orchestral works, seven string quartets, the famous violin concerto, two piano concertos, Concerto Ballata for cello and orchestra, one concerto for saxophone, two piano sonatas and other piano pieces, miscellaneous instrumental pieces, and some songs.
His Concerto No. 2 was conceived during the 1890's, but was not finished until 1917. In this work Glazunov continued the tradition of the Mighty Five, and particularly of his teacher, Rimsky-Korsakov, who had a great influence on Glazunov's style in general.

Internationally acclaimed Russian pianist Nikita Fitenko has performed recitals and with orchestras in the former Soviet Union, Europe, Asia, and South and North America. He has appeared as a soloist with such orchestras as St. Petersburg Capella Symphony, Russian Chamber Philharmonic of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg State Conservatory Orchestra, Slovak National Philharmonic, Lewisville Symphony, Rapides Symphony, State Hermitage Orchestra, and Northwestern Symphony Orchestra among others.
Native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Nikita Fitenko graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory with a citation for excellence given to only five other graduates in the last fifty years. After receiving the Anton Rubinstein Memorial Award he came to study to the US pursuing his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of North Texas. Nikita Fitenko is a prizewinner of several competitions including Belarusian International Piano Competition (Minsk, Belarus), Beethoven Piano Competition (Memphis, TN), and the Houston Symphony National Young Artist Competition (Houston, TX) among others. In 1999 and 2000, his three CDs of complete piano music by the Russian composers Georgy Sviridov and Sergey Slonimsky were released on the Altarus label. Currently, Dr. Fitenko holds a position of Associate Professor and Coordinator of Keyboard Studies at Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Since 2002, Nikita Fitenko has been the artistic director of the Louisiana Piano Series International. He is also the founder and artistic director of the Louisiana International Piano Competition.
Alexander Tutunov was born in Vitebsk, Belarus. At the age six, he entered the Central Music School of the Moscow Conservatory, being one of three chosen from 200 applicants. He graduated cum laude. Dr. Tutunov also holds diplomas with honors in concert performance from the Minsk Musical College, the University of North Texas, and the Belarusian National Academy of Music. On the concert stage, Alexander Tutunov was the first prize winner in several national and international piano competitions. In addition to radio and television appearances, he has performed extensively as a recitalist and orchestral soloist in the former Soviet Union, Europe, China, Mexico, and throughout the United States. Among his recent recordings is the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra by Peter Sacco with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. He is presently under contract with Altarus Records to record the complete solo piano works of Lev Abeliovich. He also has recorded on the AUR, Bravissimo, and Albany Records labels. While maintaining an active performing schedule, Dr. Tutunov is currently Professor of Piano and Artist in Residence at Southern Oregon University, Artist in Residence at the University of Alaska Southeast as well as Co-founder and the Associate Director of the Chinese-American International Piano Institute in Chengdu, Sichuan. He is also in demand as an adjudicator for national and international piano competitions.©
Classical Records

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