SAMUIL FEINBERG (1890-1962): Piano Sonatas No. 1 in A, Op. 1, No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 2, No. 3 in G Minor, Op. 3, No. 4 in E Flat Minor, Op. 6, No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 10 and No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 13.
Catalogue Number: 03V005
Description: One phenomenal composer-pianist’s homage to another. Samuil Feinberg’s music is here championed by Marc-André Hamelin, whose performances are sensitive to all its shadows and anxieties while being—of course—fully equal to the prodigious technical demands. The first six sonatas pre-date the composer’s decade-long compositional hiatus that began in the early 1930s, and thus belong to Feinberg's first creative period, characterized by a turbulent, apocalyptic style, described by Feinberg scholar Christophe Sirodeau as "By turns tortured, violent, elusive, mysterious, fearful; a glimpse into the composer's deepest anxieties..." and culminating in the extraordinary 1st Piano Concerto (03J002). The first two sonatas are fine works, ominously chromatic in a late-romantic, Scriabinesque idiom, but with the remarkable 3rd, Feinberg ventured into new territory, expressively and structurally. It is such an extreme statement, indeed, that it seems to have made him uneasy, and he distanced himself from it while recycling some of its material in the 1st Concerto. This recording follows Feinberg's manuscript, eschewing the extensive revisions introduced by Anatoly Alexandrov, especially in the first movement. This was followed by the unrelentingly agitated, stormy 4th (inspired by Fyodor Tyutchev’s poem Night Wind); the tragic 5th, alternating tormented lyricism and stark fury; and the dark, violent, intense and psychologically complex 6th. Marc-André Hamelin (piano).