“Avdeeva performs this thorny and poignant music with a great degree of sensitivity and restraint, and then unleashes a tremendously powerful sound aided by a beautifully-captured piano.“
Our wonderful Managing Director – Sean Hickey – recommends Resilience, by Yulianna Avdeeva.
“With such an abundance of tremendous recent Pentatone releases, picking a favorite is either a fool’s errand or an impossible task. I have certainly enjoyed the sumptuous choral sound of the Clarion Choir’s wonderful Pentatone debut of Rachmaninov’s weighty All-Night Vigil, led by Steven Fox. Also immensely successful is another Pentatone debut, Love at Last, the wide-ranging and ambitious project of the iconoclast Lara Downes. It has captured the attention of so many, especially here in the US. Broken Branches, featuring Karim Sulayman and Sean Shibe, has received deserved praise for a fascinating program. But I must recommend a release that I think is exceptional in every way: Resilience, by Yulianna Avdeeva.
I have long been a fan of music of the long and destabilizing Soviet era. In fact, the music of Shostakovich was among the first classical music I heard as a teenager, and the artistic utterances created under such fear have been a tremendous inspiration. Composers in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union toiled under circumstances that I cannot imagine, and as a young boy who despaired over a nuclear threat I wanted to know what life was like on the other side. Over the years I would learn of the incredible resilience of these brave men and women. Some of those individuals are the subject of Avdeeva’s debut Pentatone release. She presents a youthful work by the precocious Shostakovich, a sonata by Prokofiev from the height of his powers – the third of his “war sonatas” – and a tremendously powerful work by Mieczysław Weinberg, a heroic and prolific composer whose life is a microcosm of 20th century tragedy coupled with luck and dogged determination. The focus of the disc is Władysław Szpilman, a Polish Jew who miraculously survived The Second World War thanks in no small part to his pianism. His Mazurek is heartbreaking and beautiful, especially once acknowledging the circumstances of its composition.
Throughout, Avdeeva performs this thorny and poignant music with a great degree of sensitivity and restraint, and then unleashes a tremendously powerful sound aided by a beautifully-captured piano. Not one to miss. You will not be disappointed by this originally conceptualized program married with unforgettable artistry.“Sean Hickey, Managing Director