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Classical Music Review

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4 Rhapsodies


Composers: Ernő Dohnányi, Astor Piazzolla, Franz Liszt and George Gershwin
Performed by: Kristina Marinova (piano)
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 08 October 2021

Navona Records release 4 Rhapsodies from critically-acclaimed pianist Kristina Marinova. The LP is a collection of vibrant, dynamic, and technically demanding works for solo piano. The album’s titular piece, 'Four Rhapsodies op. 11' by early 20th-Century composer Ernst von Dohnányi is rarely performed in concert given the level of musicianship it requires of pianists. Now, its combination of stark drama and dazzling virtuosic passages can be enjoyed by listeners everywhere. This impressive piece, along with works by the likes of Astor Piazzolla, Franz Liszt, and George Gershwin, makes for a varied collection of masterworks performed by the gifted hands of Kristina Marinova...

4 Rhapsodies is a feast for the ears. Over these four pieces (7 tracks - 1 hr, 08 min, 37 sec) pianist Kristina Marinova delivers emotionally charged performances of works that most will know fairly well.

To be fair, all but one of these works I rarely hear these days and so it was refreshing to revisit them.

I have to admit that I'm pretty much over hearing George Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue'. I've listened to so many variations of it over the years and I didn't think it was that impressive a piece in the first place. However, Marinova's performance hear allowed me to hear it with fresh ears. While it's still not a piece I'm overly fond of, I loved the performance here. She's light and quirky, when called for, and pours emotion and soul into the performance when required.

It was wonderful to experience an artist who so obviously loves and intimately knows these pieces. Lovers of classical piano need this album in their collection.

Track listing:

Ernő Dohnányi
01. Four Rhapsodies Op.11: I. Allegro non troppo, ma agitato (G minor) (9:57)
02. Four Rhapsodies Op.11: II.Adagio capriccioso (F♯ minor) (6:42)
03. Four Rhapsodies Op.11: III. Vivace (C major) (5:33)
04. Four Rhapsodies Op.11: VI. Andante lugubre (E♭ minor) (7:23)

Astor Piazzolla
05. Tango Rhapsody (Adiós Nonino) (9:14)

Franz Liszt
06. Rhapsodie Espagnole (Spanish Rhapsody), S.254, R.90 (13:36)

George Gershwin
07. Rhapsody in Blue (16:14)


Darren Rea

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