Alexei Lubimov | Fractured Surfaces

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Fractured Surfaces

by Alexei Lubimov

Modern classical piano
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Arvo Part. Partita (1958)
5:56 album only
2. Andrei Volkonsky. Musica Stricta (Fantasia ricercato) op.11 (
7:24 album only
3. Vitaly Godziatsky. Fractured Surfaces (1963)
4:51 album only
4. Kuldar Sink. Four Compositions for 2 pianos. (1969). Composition
1:21 album only
5. Kuldar Sink. Four Compositions for 2 pianos. (1969). Composition
2:22 album only
6. Kuldar Sink. Four Compositions for 2 pianos. (1969). Composition
3:41 album only
7. Kuldar Sink. Four Compositions for 2 pianos. (1969). Composition
5:01 album only
8. Valentin Silvestrov. Elegy (1967)
5:08 album only
9. Tigran Mansurian. Sonata in 3 movements (1967). Movement 1
2:43 album only
10. Tigran Mansurian. Sonata in 3 movements (1967). Movement 2
1:24 album only
11. Tigran Mansurian. Sonata in 3 movements (1967). Movement 3
2:55 album only
12. Arvo Part. Diagrams (Two pieces) (1964)
3:38 album only
13. Tigran Mansurian. Three Pieces (1970). Piece 1
5:01 album only
14. Tigran Mansurian. Three Pieces (1970). Piece 2
2:50 album only
15. Tigran Mansurian. Three Pieces (1970). Piece 3
3:43 album only
16. Edison Denisov. Three pieces for 4 hands (1967). Piece 1
4:12 album only
17. Edison Denisov. Three pieces for 4 hands (1967). Piece 2
3:13 album only
18. Edison Denisov. Three pieces for 4 hands (1967). Piece 3
3:21 album only


Album Notes
Fractured Surfaces. Alexei Liubimov performs piano
pieces by the most prominent Soviet avangarde composers of
the 50-ies and the 60-ies: Arvo Part, Kuldar Sink, Tigran
Mansurian, Valentin Silvestrov, etc.

Born in Paide, Estonia in 1935, Pärt's musical
studies began in 1954 at the Tallinn Music Middle School,
interrupted less than a year later while he fulfilled his
National Service obligation as oboist and side-drummer in an
army band. He returned to Middle School for a year before
advancing to the Tallinn Conservatory in 1957 where his
composition teacher was Professor Heino Eller. Pärt
started work as a recording engineer with Estonian Radio,
wrote music for the stage and received numerous commisions
for film scores so that, by the time he graduated from the
Conservatory in 1963, he could already be considered a
professional composer. A year before leaving, he won first
prize in the All-Union Young Composers' Competition for a
children's cantata, Our Garden, and an oratorio, Stride of
The World.
Living in the old Soviet Union, Pärt had little access
to what was happening in contemporary Western music but,
despite such isolation, the early 1960s in Estonia saw many
new methods of composition being brought into use and
Pärt was at the fore-front; his Nekrolog of 1960 was
the first Estonian composition to employ serial technique.
He continued with serialism through to the mid 60s in pieces
such as the 1st and 2nd Symphonies and Perpetuum Mobile, but
ultimately tired of its rigours and moved on to experiment,
in works such as Collage on B-A-C-H, with collage
Official judgement of Pärt's music veered between
extremes, with certain works being praised while others, for
example the Credo of 1968, were banned. This would prove to
be the last of his collage pieces and after its composition,
Pärt chose to enter the first of several periods of
contemplative silence, also using the time to study French
and Franco-Flemish choral part music from the 14th to 16th
centuries - Machaut, Ockeghem, Obrecht, Josquin. At the very
beginning of the '70's, he wrote a few transitional
compositions in the spirit of early European polyphony, the
3rd Symphony of 1971 being an example: "a joyous piece of
music" but not yet "the end of my despair and search."
Pärt turned again to self-imposed silence, during which
time he delved back through the medievalism of his 3rd
Symphony and through plainchant to the very dawn of musical
invention. He re-emerged in 1976 after a transformation so
radical as to make his previous music almost unrecognisable
as that of same composer. The technique he invented, or
discovered, and to which he has remained loyal, practically
without exception, he calls tintinnabuli (from the Latin,
little bells), which he describes thus: "I have discovered
that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played.
This one note, or a silent beat, or a moment of silence,
comforts me. I work with very few elements - with one voice,
two voices. I build with primitive materials - with the
triad, with one specific tonality. The three notes of a
triad are like bells and that is why I call it
The basic guiding principle behind tintinnabulation of
composing two simultaneous voices as one line - one voice
moving stepwise from and to a central pitch, first up then
down, and the other sounding the notes of the triad - made
its first public appearance in the short piano piece,
Für Alina. While typically in tintinnabuli the melodic
voice is based on an abstract procedure or derived from
text, here the melody is freely composed, but with the two
voices irrevocably joined according to the tintinnabuli
principle. The right hand plays notes from the scale of B
minor, while the left hand plays notes from the B minor
triad. There is only one exception, marked by a single
flower drawn in the score, where the left hand plays a new
note - a C sharp.
Having found his voice, there was a subsequent rush of new
works and three of the 1977 pieces (Fratres, Cantus In
Memoriam Benjamin Britten and Tabula Rasa) are still amongst
his most highly regarded. As Pärt's music began to be
performed in the west and he continued to struggle against
Soviet officialdom, his frustration ultimately forced him,
his wife Nora and their two sons, to emigrate in 1980. They
never made it to their intended destination of Israel but,
with the assistance of his publisher in the West, settled
firstly in Vienna, where he took Austrian citizenship. One
year later, with a scholarship from the German Academic
Exchange, he moved to West Berlin where he still lives.
Since leaving Estonia, Pärt has concentrated on setting
religious texts for various forces. Large scale works
include St. John Passion (1982), Te Deum (1984-86, rev.
1993) and Litany (1994). Works for SATB choir such as
Magnificat (1989) and The Beatitudes (1990) have proved
popular with choirs around the world and there is a growing
ouvre of works for string orchestra and various chamber
ensembles; numerous versions of Fratres (1976-date), Cantus
In Memoriam Benjamin Britten (1977/80), Festina Lente (1988)
and Siloun's Song (1991). Among his champions in the West
have been Manfred Eicher's ECM Records who released the
first recordings of Pärt's music outside the Soviet
bloc, Paul Hillier's Hilliard Ensemble (and laterly Theatre
of Voices) who have premiered several of the vocal works and
Neeme Jarvi, a long time collaborator of Pärt who
conducted the premiere of Credo in Tallinn in 1968 and has,
as well as recording the tintinnabuli pieces, introduced
through performances and recordings, Pärt's earlier
Pärt's achievements were honoured in his 61st year by
his election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Copyright © Doug Maskew, 1997.
(taken from

Sink, Kuldar (b Tallinn, 14 Sept 1942; d 29
Jan 1995).
Composer. His mother Marje Sink (1910 - 1979) was also known
as composer, an author of a number of sacred works. Kuldar
Sink completed his studies in music theory at the Tallinn
Music School in 1960 and graduated from the same school as
flutist (with E. Peäske) a year later. At the same time
he studied composition under Veljo Tormis. From 1961 to 1966
Sink studied at the Leningrad Conservatory with Andrei
Petrov. He has worked as flutist in the Estonia Theatre and
in the Estonian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Since 1973 he was
a freelance composer.
Sink started to compose already in 1960 when he completed
his Kolm pala keelpilliorkestrile [Three Pieces for
Strings], a work played by the orchestras up to now. In the
1960's and the 1970's he joined with the mainstream of
modern music including serialism, aleatorics and collage
technique. In the 1980's a significant change took place in
his music. His musical language changed so deeply that it is
hard to find common traits in his earlier and later works at
the first sight. His search for the new tone color
(characteristic to his earlier styles too) run to extremes
in the 1980's. At this time a sense of infinite flow of time
springing from the Orient started to appear in Sink's music.
Henceforth his musical language became less complicated
containing the elements from the gregorian chant, Estonian
folk song and the Romanticism (in the aspect of melody).
Sink's life was broken by a tragic accident. A biblical
opera he was working at remained unfinished.
(taken from

Tigran Mansurian was born in Beirut in 1939.
In 1947 his family moved to Armenia, finally settling in the
capital Yerevan in 1956. Mansurian studied at the Yerevan
Music Academy and completed his PhD at the Komitas State
Conservatory where he later taught contemporary music
analysis. In a short time he became one of Armenia's leading
composers, establishing strong creative relationships with
international performers and composers such as Valentin
Silvestrov, Arvo Pärt, Alfred Schnittke, Sofia
Gubaidulina, André Volkonsky and Edison Denisov as well
as Kim Kashkashian, Jan Garbarek, and the Hilliard Ensemble.
Mansurian was the director of the Komitas Conservatory in
the 1990s. He has recently retired as an administrator and
teacher, and concentrates exclusively on composition.
Mansurian's musical style is characterized mainly by the
organic synthesis of ancient Armenian musical traditions and
contemporary European composition methods. His oeuvre
comprises orchestral works, seven concerti for strings and
orchestra, sonatas for cello and piano, three string
quartets, madrigals, chamber music and works for solo
(taken from Other Minds web-site -

Valentin Silvestrov was born in Kiev,
Ukraine, on September 30, 1937, arguably the darkest year in
the Russian history. He came rather late to music, beginning
study at 15, first privately and then at an evening music
school. By 1955, he graduated with a gold medal and enrolled
at the Kiev Institute of Construction Engineering; but three
years later Silvestrov began serious pursuit of music at the
Kiev Conservatory, studying with Lyatoshyns'ky and Revutsky.
Even with earliest works like the Piano Quintet (1961),
Silvestrov was already drawn to the dramatic potential in
contrasting strong tonality with strong atonality; in his
massive Third Symphony "Eskhatofoniya" (1966), this
preoccupation with polarities took the form of "cultural"
(strictly notated) sounds and "mysterious" (improvised)
ones. The place of magic and invocation - those elements
that always defy material, that arise only in the process
and afterwards - began to rest more firmly in Silvestrov's
1971's gigantic Drama for piano trio - "virtually a clinical
study of an artistic crisis," Silvestrov's biographer writes
- was a breakthrough work. And it was beginning in 1973 that
Silvestrov embarked on his "metaphorical" or "allegorical"
style, strongly reminiscent of late-Romantic cliché, to
which he still adheres today - "metaphorical" because
Silvestrov knows these sounds to be irrefutably "past" and
has no interest in merely "resurrecting" them; and
"allegorical," because Silvestrov wishes to use this music
obliquely, as an estranged means rather than a predictable
Silvestrov's Symphony No. 5 of 1982 is perhaps an ideal
symbol of this style: in its three-quarter-hour cycle of
nine slow movements, it "recycles" a whole world of banal,
almost kitschy melodies on its scarred, cloudy surface. But
underneath this floating music lies a tremendous complexity,
both technically and emotionally; the accumulative
expressive effect is undeniable and unexpected. Malcolm
MacDonald perhaps put it best when he wrote that the
"Russian sense of lamentation...reaches in Silvestrov a new
expressive stage: he seems to compose, not the lament
itself, but the lingering memory of it, the mood of sadness
that it leaves behind."
(taken from All-Music Guide web site)

Alexei Liubimov is maybe the best
contemporary Russian pianist. The unique character of the
release lies in the fact that the recordings of the works
presented on this album were made secretly during the
60-ies, when the works were written.

Alexei Lubimov was born in Moscow in 1944,
and began his musical training at the Central Music School
in 1952. In 1963, he became a student at the Moscow
Conservatory, where he worked with Heinrich Neuhaus - the
celebrated teacher of such performers as Sviatolslav Richter
and Emil Gilels. While still a student at the Conservatory,
he won several prestigious competitions, including 1st Prize
at the International Piano Competition in Rio de Janeiro, in
1965. He also began performing in concert, such as at the
Warsaw Autumn Festival of Contemporary Music, in 1964.
Since his graduation from the Conservatory in 1968, Alexei
Lubimov has pursued an active career as a performer and has
recorded a wide array of music, an extensive sample of which
is provided here at the Classical Archives. From early in
his career, he has championed the works of modern composers,
and premiered numerous works of Soviet composers, such as
Schnittke, Demidov, Pärt, and Volkonsky; he also gave
first performances in the Soviet Union of works by such
seminal composers as Webern, Boulez, Stockhausen, Cage,
Penderecki, Ligeti, and Ives. He even created his own
festival, Alternativa, dedicated to the music of the
avant-garde, in 1988. During much of the 1970s and 80s,
ideological censorship restricted Alexei's public
performances to within the USSR; during this period he
created strong associations with such outstanding chamber
musicians as violinist Oleg Kagan and cellist Natalia
Gutman, as well as with the Philharmonic Orchestra, under
conductors Kyrill Kondrashin and Wassili Sinaiski.
In 1976, Alexei Lubimov's interests expanded to Baroque
music and historic instruments, manifest in his co-founding
of the Moscow Baroque Quartet - along with Tatiana Grindenko
on violin, Anatoly Grindenko on viola da gamba, and Oleg
Khudyakov on flute. By 1981, Mr. Lubimov was giving
performances on the fortepiano of the works of Mozart and
Haydn, the first of their kind in the Soviet Union. A few
years later, he presented the program, "The Golden Age of
Harpsichord Music 1650-1750" with his own Moscow Chamber
Academy, with works by German, French, Italian, and British
composers. He continues to be very active in the Early Music
world, performing in several festivals within Europe; he was
recently appointed to the faculty of the celebrated
Mozarteum in Salzburg.
Alexei Lubimov has numerous recordings since the 1970s, for
the Melodia (Russia), BIS, Sony, Erato, ECM and SoLyd
"In familiar Liszt and Chopin, Lubimov offered more
imaginative faithfulness than I have heard in some time,
different in innumerable details from the "standard"
readings. But every time one thought, "Now, there's
something you couldn't do on a modern grand!" It was also
something that perhaps only Lubimov would have thought of
doing anyway. The sound never seemed miniaturized: the third
and fourth Chopin Ballades rose to glorious climaxes, and
the three members of the audience who left before the
encores missed a magnificent Barcarolle."
Financial Times (London)
"... Quite a revelation...Lubimov brings a big,
modern technique to bear on these (Mozart) sonatas...K533's
marvelous first movement has lots of incredible, rich
counterpoint and tremendous harmonic twists which Lubimov
makes the most of...the slow movement, too, is really superb
where he builds up the phrases and sequences architecturally
with careful timing..."
BBC Radio 3
Radio Review (Stanley Sadie)
"Lubimov proved himself a flexible, inspired partner.
For him, selfless following obviously is no more fruitful
than aggressive leading. The versatile Muscovite did his own
Romantic singing at the keyboard - always warm and
sympathetic, virtuousic yet understated, assertive yet
poetic. Don't call him an accompanist."
Los Angeles
Times, 1995
(taken from The Classical Musical Archives web-site -



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