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Global Fascinations and Sophistications

Evgeny Soifertis


Glinka piano music. Evgeny Soifertis (c) 1998 Meridian Records

I asked John Shuttleworth of Meridian Records how he made his choice of pianists for his label. His reply was 'They phone me and ask me to record them !' After a recital at London's Wigmore Hall, Russian pianist Evgeny Soifertis eulogised over the piano works of Glinka. The 'Father of Russian Music' has endured a rough ride with most of what he wrote, excepting Jota Aragonaisa and the Overture to Russlan and Lumilla, but knowing a few of the operas fairly well, I should not have been surprised at finding so much to enjoy and admire in the keyboard music. It embraces a few well established influences like Field, Chopin, Liszt, looking forward to Tchaikovsky and Russia's 'Big Five' headed by Balakirev, but more importantly this is music steeped firmly in Slav traditions which communicates the essence of past salons. Superbly crafted with never a hint of superfluous writing, it is above all spontaneous in professional appeal. I was enchanted!

The moods and textures are full of felicities that denote changes of temperament coupled with stylistic élan; somehow they carry the listener along on a roller-coaster of delights: French Quadrille in D minor, of which 'La Poule' plays Haydn at his own game, two Valses, a couple of Mazurkas, the brilliant Variations on a the theme from the opera Anna Bolena by Donizetti, Nocturne La Séparation, Rondo from the opera Monteccchi and Kapyletti, Barcarolle, Valse-fantasie (also well known in the orchestral version), and two sets of Variations - Scottish theme in F and Romance 'Nightingale' in E minor. Here is a pianist in love with the piano and the music he adores.

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Copyright © 18 October 2000 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK







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