VLADISLAV ZOLOTARYOV (1942-1975): Accordion Sonata No. 3, VYACHESLAV SEMIONOV (b.1946): Accordion Sonata No. 3 “Reminiscence of the Future”, SOFIA GUBAIDULINA (b.1931): Sonata Et expecto.

Catalogue Number: 05U065

Label: Dux

Reference: 1470

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: The expressive capabilities of the concert accordion are truly extraordinary, as these powerful works amply demonstrate. The instrument's capacity for rapid articulation, organ-like sustaining ability and clear, pungent tone make it an ideal concert instrument, a fact that Zolotaryov appreciated at a time when few other Soviet composers took it seriously. He had a difficult life, came to music late, via the accordion, and was accepted to study composition at the Moscow Conservatory; he was fascinated by Schoenberg and produced a body of pioneering dodecaphonic works for accordion, but died by suicide at the age of 33 leaving much unrealized potential. Although based on a dodecaphonic row borrowed from Schoenberg, the 3rd Sonata is anything but atonal. Because of the unique way in which the instrument is played, it lends itself to striking quasi-orchestral effects, which Zolotaryov amply exploits. After a Maestoso intrada in saturated chords, the note row is introduced and then developed in a serious, discursive movement which alternates abrasive polyphony and more tonal interludes derived from the introduction. The following energetic scherzo is obsessively propulsive, much more tonal, and contains some intriguing references to familiar works in the orchestral repertory. A tenebrous slow movement follows, gradually accumulating mass and tonal stability, and then the extraordinary finale, which begins as a high-energy toccata which climaxes with the sudden appearance of the Dies irae followed by a solemn chorale and a recapitulation of the toccata material with some stunning antiphonal exchanges between the keyboards, before winding down into a final section based on Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht. Gubaidulina's sonata takes its title from the Credo of the Mass, the line that anticipates the apocalypse, resurrection, and the world to come. Accordingly, it is a work of monumental grandeur, combining elements of solemn chorale with massed sonoristic effects and dense harmonic clusters that would be exceedingly difficult to achieve on any other instrument or ensemble. The composer’s remarkable sonic imagination is given as free rein here as in any of her orchestral works, unlikely as that might sound. Semionov's sonata has grand ambitions; expressing " life and death, transience, infinity, and eternity." The composer has compared it to Mikhail Bulgakov's brilliant, convoluted novel 'The Master and Margarita'. What this means in musical terms is a three-movement sonata, largely tonal, plus or minus the irresistible clusters native to the instrument, with a great deal of thematic cross-referencing back and forth between movements. The work gives the impression that the first two movements - expository, and lyrical and static - are there to set up the finale, which pulls all the puzzle pieces together in a thrilling dynamic mosaic full of quotations from other composers and some remarkably effective and original accordion writing. The kind of games played in the piece are epitomised by the final gesture; a line of Heinrich Heine spelt out in Morse code. Adam Maximienko (accordion). Adam Maximienko (accordion).

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