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Samuel Feinberg
The art of Rachmaninov
Mikhail Voskresensky
Vera Gornostaeva
Mikhail Utkin
Vladimir Sofronitsky
Victor Fedotov
Maxim Fedotov
Henry Neighaus

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CR-074. Schubert. Vera Gornostaeva

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CR-074. Schubert. Vera Gornostaeva

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Weight: 120 g

One of the biographers of Schumann said: "Schumann's Butterflies had flown from the meadows where Schubert used to pick up his flowers". This is not only a poetic expression, but a distinct thought. Impromtus, Musical moments, Landlers… It is difficult to imagine the development of romantic miniature without this “flower meadow”. Not only Schumann’s Butterflies, but also Liszt’s Valse Oublee, Intermezzi by Brahms and Impromtus by Chopin, Ravel’s Valses Nobles et Sentimentales, even Moments Musicals by Rachmaninov - they all came from that meadow... Each epoch spoke its own language, altering, developing, adding something new, but the main idea was the same.
In his miniatures, Schubert is innovator more than in other genres. Instead of classical sonata form something quite new appeared, and the freshness of the musical language and images gave birth to a new improvisation-like form. Musical moments and impromtus cannot be “pushed” into the scheme of any form, each piece has its own logic of construction.
Landlers and valses were composed for amateurs, as a kind of “home-music” that was popular in Vienna at the time. It is doubtfull that Schubert attached any importance to those pieces, charming miniatures that keep the aroma of domestic evening parties with their cosiness. Transcribed by hand, they quickly spread around, sometimes got lost or forgotten by the author...
A great master of melody, Schubert remains a vocal composer even in his piano works. It is impossible to imagine Schubert without his valses, landlers, and songs. The lyrics and the dance, joining together, create a special atmosphere. Schubert can listen to the silence and smile in sadness. There is something childish in his indefensibility; he seems to confirm Rilke’s idea that a poet is a child among adults. Sometimes one feels that his music, especially in its most inspired moments, is a kind of nostalgia, an aspiration for something non-existant, for a world that is lost forever, a world that lives in the human soul but cannot be seen in reality. Schubert’s music brings us to that world, it sails in the stream of Time like a river. Everything comes alive in our memory and becomes immortal. And only reality is doomed to loneliness and early death...
During his lifetime, Schubert was known to a very small circle of friends and admirers. People knew mostly his songs; symphonic and piano works and chamber music were performed very rarely. A Poet was not heard.
On Schubert’s grave in Vienna there is a sentence that belongs to Grilparzer: “Here lies a priceless treasure. But he took away even more hopes”. In our time we can re-interprete these words. Schubert died when he was only 31, but during his short life he did so much! It is doubtful that his contemporaries could really estimate what he had done during those 31 years. We could say now that he took away so much hopes, but he left us so many great treasures!

Vera Gornostaeva,
Professor of the Moscow Conservatoire

The of Vera Gornostaeva is quite unusual in today’s concert life. In her performances one cannot find sportlike chic virtuosity or automatically regulated technicism. There are other features in Gornostaeva’s playing that really merit: the high musical culture, beautiful taste, fine intellect that is both subtle and flexible, high professionalism. And these qualities make her interpretations much more impressing than any kind of showy virtuoso bravura. For a thoughtful listener, Gornostaeva’s recital is always a meeting with a wise collocutor, who speaks about most important things, things that are deep and complex, and who shows the most detailed and thorough knowledge of the theme that was chosen. She has a gift of revealing the most fundamental and innermost ideas.
Musicians know well that piano works by Schubert are extremely difficult. These difficulties are rather special. In most cases, pianists try to get over them following the traditional way: “polishing” the performance, making the musical form more “attractive”; in other words, working on the “surface” of the composition. Gornostaeva, a subtle musician with a great experience, follows another way that is quite contrary; she starts not from the form, but from the content of the musical work, and goes from the inner to the outward, from a spiritual poetic essence of the compositions she performs to the adequate embodiment. The musical sound grows from the matter of music, its heart, filled with music at every detail. Such moments always touch the audience very deeply, going to the people’s hearts.

Gennady Zypin, Professor

Classical Records

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