|VVCD - 00070
of Maria Yudina
Sonata, ор. 59
Sonata C-Dur, op. 1924.
Serenade for piano A-Dur
8 pieces of solo piano music Microcosm
Sonata for two pianos
Ernst Krenek's Sonata No. 2, Op. 59 was written
in 1928. It represents an early period of the composer's music.
Amazing in Yudina's interpretation is her absolute command of the
material, a great freedom of improvisation, unpredictability and
at the same time a great persuasiveness of her rendering. Yudina
is also amazing in her ability to instantly change the inner mood
and the nature of extraction of the sound from the instrument. It's
an outburst of sensations, powerful energy and the abruptness of
the introduction in the first part. Then comes a sweeping manner
in the march of the second part. And this goes alongside with deep
dreaminess and sudden lyricism. Everything is getting softer and
everything thaws out. Yudina plays the Finale with perfect virtuosity
and articulation. But there are moments of peace and some classical
Beethoven's style harmony in the Finale.
Yudina's attitude towards phenomenon of Stravinsky was very special.
His grandeur and significance both as a composer and human being
was quite evident for her. Stravinsky's snowy summit rises above
everybody else, she said. To her, he was a symbol of a truly Russian
and at the same time worldwide, universal genius that ought to be
by all means returned to Russia. "What a miracle, this man,
she wrote. I am learning his Serenada now and enjoy it immensely".
Yudina's interpretations of Stravinsky's Serenade in A and Sonata
(1924) capture the listeners right from the first sounds. The energy
that comes from them is truly great while a non-stoppable rhythmical
motion is really magnetic. In Sonata, parts 1 and 3, it's unshakably
steady while in Serenade, an introduction, the conclusion of the
part 2, and part 3, it's almost spontaneous. The sudden asymmetric
accents sound very natural and yet witty. And how beautiful are
unexpected stretched caesuras.
Two slow parts, Adagietto in Sonata and Romanza in Serenade, appear
true masterpieces. The music of both these parts is really exalted,
delicate, and sounds like a confession.
Yudina first turned to the music of Bela Bartok only in 1961. "I
did not play him before, because the Hungarian folklore that is
alien to me somehow concealed for me his prophetic face. Now I am
really overwhelmed by him", she wrote in a letter to Pierre
Souvchinsky, an eminent Franco-Russian musicologist. Pieces from
Bartok's Mikrokosmos cycle for children (1926 - 1939) under Yudina's
hands acquire a scale of extraordinarily profound and inspired poems.
The pianist's fantasy is not in the least constrained by the microscopic
duration of the small pieces. It's astounding how she makes subtle
nuances of dissonance in the melody (major seconds, minor seconds,
and sevenths). There's also amazing richness of intonation and colour
in her interpretation. Bartok made two versions of his piece No
145 Chromatic Invention. According to the author's directions both
of them could be performed simultaneously by two pianos. And this
is how it is played on this recording.
Yudina was particularly fond of Paul Hindemith whom she first met
in 1927 and even played for him. Her repertoire of the last decade
of her life included among other things many of the composer's chamber
sonatas for piano and various instruments. Yudina was awfully fond
of those sonatas and played them with great enthusiasm. As a rule
her partners were very young musicians. The author of this article,
then a student of the Gnesin's Institute of Music, was very lucky
to play Hindemith' Sonata for Two Pianos (1942) with Maria Veniaminovna.
It was a great delight to play side by side with her and take part
in creating interpretation of this festive music. For some moments
I was feeling as if we were a single whole with Maria Veniaminovna.
And then my sight and ear became sharp and shining abysses of the
wise and high soul of the great musician was opening to me. The
interpretation of the Sonata is exceptionally light and clear and
full of optimism and inexhaustible energy of her ever-young heart.
A student and friend of Maria Yudina