REDISCOVERING THE RUSSIAN AVANT-GARDE (1912-1925)

In 1917, Soviet artists were at the vanguard of a new world that was exploding brilliantly with newly found creativity despite political upheaval. After 70 years of censorship, the extraordinary inventiveness of this period is brought back to light. At last, we hear the long lost colleagues of Shostakovich and Prokofiev — Roslavetz, Mossolov and Lourié — whose equally brilliant achievements were instead crushed by political events.

Recorded on 1-2 June 1991 and 31 January 1992 at the Recital Hall of the State University of New York in Purchase, New York. Produced by Gunther Schuller.

PRESS QUOTES

“These pieces appear in Sarah Rothenberg’s superb recital of early Soviet piano music on GM Recordings 2040.”
— Alex Ross, New York Times

“What the additional recordings of Roslavets and Mosolov have shown is that, despite the ‘fingers of steel’ possessed by such great players as Hamelin and Henck, the interpretive faculty observed by Sarah Rothenberg in this material remains of a higher order. The unique approach to rhythm is part of what makes Russian futurist piano music so different and exciting, and Rothenberg seeks out the end of the thread of the rhythm in a given piece and follows it through to the end; an intelligent choice, as other elements therewith seem to fall into place. Roslavets’ writing can seem so knotty at times that one wonders why it is supposed to be interesting in the first place, but that doesn’t hold true here. In Rothenberg’s hands, Roslavets’ un-collected Prelude is carefully balanced and has a forward sense of movement. The same is true of the other Roslavets works represented, and in his case, a fully successful interpretation is a matter of shaping the musical text into something comprehensible, rather than elucidating small, individual elements. Rothenberg’s Rediscovering the Russian Avant-Garde 1912-1925 remains a superlative survey of Russian futurist piano music.”
— AllMusic