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My favorite pianist plays one of my favorite composers
Yury Favorin and Aylen Pritchin join forces in 2018 recording
Two of my musical obsessions, Russian piano player Yury Favorin and Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, come together in an album that includes Prokofiev’s two violin sonatas for violin and piano, and a shorter piece, Five Melodies.
Favorin is my favorite living piano player. Here, in a recording issued in 2018, he is paired with Russian violinist Aylen Pritchin for a recording on the Melodiya record label. I did not know Pritchin until I listened to this album, but I am glad to meet him after listening to this album several times. Here is one review:
“ ‘He dislikes beaten tracks. He prefers to force his way through virgin thickets, crushing obstacles with a steady hand, breaking hard rocks and taking running jumps into deep streams…’ The words said by a music critic about Sergei Prokofiev could be rightfully referred to the heroes of this album. Pritchin and Favorin are arguably the brightest Russian musicians of the generation in their thirties – the violinist, who combines the merits of the St. Petersburg and Moscow performing schools and is a winner of the grand prix of the Long-Thibaud-Crespin Competition in Paris and many other prestigious tournaments; and the pianist, a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory, and an active performer of contemporary music. Aylen Pritchin’s and Yury Favorin’s infrequent joint performances are known for their quite extraordinary repertoire. For this once they present Sergei Prokofiev’s music. The composer, who started out as a rebel and tradition-buster, became a 20th century classic in his lifetime. However, interpreted by the young musicians, the vibes of Prokofiev’s music rip the academic clichés to shreds.”
Favorin has shown a commendable desire to highlight the music of lesser-known but worthy composers (see for example this excellent album of Russian Futurist music, and this new album of contemporary Russian music, I listen to both over and over again), so it’s interesting to hear him playing Prokofiev. I admire Favorin’s work with more obscure composers, but I confess I also would love to hear more Prokofiev recordings from him. It will be interesting to see what he does for the next few years.
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