YEVGENY GUNST (1877-1950): 7 pièces for Violin and Piano, Op. 27, 2 morceaux for Piano, Op. 24, 2 Stimmungsbilder for Piano, Op. 5, Piano reduction of Symphonie fantastique pour grand orchestre, Op. 18, CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918): Violin Sonata, Suite bergamasque for Piano.

Catalogue Number: 08S035

Label: Oehms Classics

Reference: OC 1842

Format: CD

Price: $19.98

Description: Two years ago, we said this about the first disc of Gunst’s music: “A well-connected composer and pedagogue in Moscow, friend of Scriabin for the last five years of his life, student of Goldenweiser and Gliere, Gunst vanished from musical history after fleeing Russia in 1920 and ending up in Paris where he was devastated by the Depression and lived a hardscrabble life ekeing out a living by doing workaday musical tasks for others. His nachlass only came to light a few years ago in Basle and these recordings were made from manuscripts. A huge discovery for collectors of Russian piano music of the period, late Romantic in his early works, charged with Scriabinesque color and harmonies in his two sonatas and the two latest pieces here, dating from his Parisian years, suites of character pieces with subtle flavors of Ravel now present also. There's a lot more where this came from; will we ever hear it?”. Yes we will! The violin pieces and the piano character pieces are in the well-behaved, accessible-to-all style necessary for sale to French publishers to eke out a living but the single-movement, 18-minute symphony, dating from 1921, sounds like a late, just-discovered “piano poem” by Scriabin; one can only imagine with what what iridescent colors and ecstatic energy the orchestral version would sound. The incantation again, please: “Will we ever hear it?”


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