Brilliant Classics

Shostakovich and Pupils Vol. 1

Shostakovich and Pupils Vol. 1
Composer Dmitri Shostakovich
Artist Fernanda Damiano piano
Format 1 CD
Cat. number PCL10301
EAN code 5029365103015
Release January 2024

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About this release

The first volume in an adventurous new series juxtaposing the piano music of Shostakovich with his most talented pupils.
As a teacher at the Moscow Conservatoire for many years, Shostakovich trained a generation of the Soviet Union’s most talented composers. He was renowned for a sharp ear and kindly criticism which immediately focused its attention on areas of weakness in a score without requiring that his pupils follow his own path. Indeed, all three of the younger composers here demonstrate the individuality of their own voice.
Least known of them now is German Galynin (1922-1966) whose originality caused him to suffer far more than his teacher from the effects of Zhdanov’s famous ‘purge’ of 1948 directed towards composers and against modernist tendencies in music. In 1951, the year in which he paradoxically obtained the Stalin Prize for his Epic Poem on Russian Themes, Galynin began suffering from schizophrenia that he was admitted to an asylum, and continued to received psychiatric care for the rest of his short life. He wrote this five-movement Suite in 1945, while still a student at the Conservatoire, and it alternates somewhat prophetically between moods of mania and melancholy.
Shostakovich himself cited Alemdar Karamanov (1934-2007) as one of the most original composers of his time. Ukrainian born but of Turkish parentage, he studied in Moscow before returning to Crimea, converting to Christianity and thus consigning himself to obscurity at the time, and his later music shares an experimental, visionary quality with contemporary pioneers such as Schnittke, Denisov and Gubaidulina. The Variations for piano (1962) belong to the last phase of his Moscow period.
The career of Boris Tchaikovsky (1925-1996) proceeded along smoother lines, not least because his maturity coincided with the period of the Thaw which granted artists greater freedom of expression. The single-movement Sonatina from 1946 is again a student work, albeit a highly talented and disciplined one, with the kind of thorough-going understanding of Classical form which Shostakovich evidently instilled in and expected from his students.
Fernanda Damiano juxtaposes these pianistic rarities with several pieces which demonstrate the breadth of style and confidence of artistic personality that made Shostakovich stand out from his contemporaries. Alongside the fleet-fingered brilliance of the Three Fantastic Dances and the Polka from his ballet The Golden Age, she plays a trio of Preludes and Fugues (Nos. 1, 7 & 24) from the collection he wrote for Tatiana Nikolaeva, another pupil, in 1950-51.
Fernanda Damiano made her recorded debut on Brilliant Classics (96346) with a unique collection of Galuppi sonatas in romantically pianistic editions by Giocomo Benvenuti. ‘a supremely talented 20-something’ according to Fanfare magazine, she moves ‘well beyond even Benvenuti’s score with her imaginative rubato and resourceful dynamic play. Add to this her deft touch … her fine control of vertical balances, and her attention to the music’s syncopation and its rhythmic quirks, this promises to be a first-rate disc.’

- Dimitri Shostakovich (1906-1975), a towering figure in 20th-century classical music, exerted a profound influence on countless composers. His innovative blend of traditional Russian elements with avant-garde techniques pushed musical boundaries and inspired generations. Composers after him were deeply influenced by Shostakovich's emotional depth and use of irony, incorporating similar themes into their work.
- This CD is the first of a series dedicated to pupils of Shostakovich: Alemdar Karamanov (1934-2007), German Galynin (1922-1966) and Boris Tchaikovsky (1925-1996). All three found their own individual style, but each found inspiration in the genius of that towering figure of 20-th century Russia: Dimitri Shostakovich.
- Also included are several piano works by Shostakovich himself, among which the popular Three Fantastic Dances.
- “The young pianist Fernanda Damiano is a real marvel; she has a very remarkable pianism. She is destined, I am sure, to a very brilliant career” (Aldo Ciccolini). Fernanda Damiano, born in 1995, is the winner of several international piano competitions. Recently she worked with Enrico Pace at the famous Imola Piano Academy. Her previous recording for Brilliant Classics with piano sonatas by Galuppi won several 5-star reviews.


Track list

Disk 1

  1. Alemdar Karamanov: Variations for Piano: I. Tema. Moderato, Var. 1. Allegretto grazioso, Var. 2. L’istesso tempo, Var. 3. Allegro risoluto, Var. 4. Tempo I, Var. 5. Andantino espressivo, Var. 6. Allegretto - Meno mosso- Prestissimo
  2. German Galynin: Suite for Piano: I. Toccata
  3. German Galynin: Suite for Piano: II. Intermezzo
  4. German Galynin: Suite for Piano: III. Dance
  5. German Galynin: Suite for Piano: IV. Aria
  6. German Galynin: Suite for Piano: V. Finale
  7. Boris Tchaikovsky: Sonatina
  8. Dmitri Shostakovich: Prelude and Fugue No. 1 in C Major, Op. 87: I. Prelude
  9. Dmitri Shostakovich: Prelude and Fugue No. 1 in C Major, Op. 87: II. Fugue
  10. Dmitri Shostakovich: Prelude and Fugue No. 7 in A Major, Op. 87: I. Prelude
  11. Dmitri Shostakovich: Prelude and Fugue No. 7 in A Major, Op. 87: II. Fugue
  12. Dmitri Shostakovich: Prelude and Fugue No. 24 in D Minor, Op. 87: I. Prelude
  13. Dmitri Shostakovich: Prelude and Fugue No. 24 in D Minor, Op. 87: II. Fugue
  14. Dmitri Shostakovich: 3 Fantastic Dances, Op. 5: I. Allegretto
  15. Dmitri Shostakovich: 3 Fantastic Dances, Op. 5: II. Andantino
  16. Dmitri Shostakovich: 3 Fantastic Dances, Op. 5: III. Allegretto
  17. Dmitri Shostakovich: Polka from the Ballet “The Golden Age”