Diana Gabrielyan - STRAVINSKY, SHOSTAKOVICH, BABAJANYAN, MANSURYAN
- 01 Igor Stravinsky – Piano Sonata (1924) – I – quarter = 112
- 02 Igor Stravinsky – Piano Sonata (1924) – II – Adagietto
- 03 Igor Stravinsky – Piano Sonata (1924) – III – quarter = 112
- 04 Igor Stravinsky – Piano Rag Music
- 05 Igor Stravinsky – Ragtime
- 06 Igor Stravinsky – Tango
- 07 Dmitri Shostakovich – Piano Sonata No 1 Op 12 – I – Allegro –
- 08 Dmitri Shostakovich – Piano Sonata No 1 Op 12 – II – Meno mosso –
- 09 Dmitri Shostakovich – Piano Sonata No 1 Op 12 – III – Adagio –
- 10 Dmitri Shostakovich – Piano Sonata No 1 Op 12 – IV – Allegro – Poco meno mosso –
- 11 Dmitri Shostakovich – Piano Sonata No 1 Op 12 – V – Adagio – Lento –
- 12 Dmitri Shostakovich – Piano Sonata No 1 Op 12 – VI – Allegro – Meno mosso – Moderato – Allegro
- 13 Arno Babadjanyan – Elegy
- 14 Arno Babadjanyan – Impromptu
- 15 Arno Babadjanyan – Danza di Vagharshapat
- 16 Arno Babadjanyan – Six Pictures – I – Impromptu
- 17 Arno Babadjanyan – Six Pictures – II – Folk Song
- 18 Arno Babadjanyan – Six Pictures – III – Toccatina
- 19 Arno Babadjanyan – Six Pictures – IV – Intermezzo
- 20 Arno Babadjanyan – Six Pictures – V – Choral
- 21 Arno Babadjanyan – Six Pictures – VI- Dance of the People of Sasun
- 22 Tigran Mansuryan – Three Pieces (1970) – I – Piece No 1
- 23 Tigran Mansuryan – Three Pieces (1970) – II – Piece No 2
- 24 Tigran Mansuryan – Three Pieces (1970) – III – Piece No 3
DIANA GABRIELYAN – STRAVINSKY, SHOSTAKOVICH, BABAJANYAN, MANSURYAN
With this record pianist Diana Gabrielyan explores the musical richness of the twentieth century in Russia and her native Armenia, from two separate historical periods: post-World War I, with sonatas by Stravinsky and Shostakovich, and post-World War II, with the compositions by Babajanyan and Mansuryan. Though characterized by strong internal contradictions, almost diametrically opposed to one another, and spanning compositional languages from neoclassicism to serial and twelve-tone technique, they somehow manage to represent different aspects of a single reality: man always looking for a better world.
Booklet in English, Italian, and Armenian.
Program notes by Valeri Voskobojnikov.
“The Armenian pianist’s fingers elegantly and fluidly move in poetry of drastic works so expressive and provoking, the album is primarily an ocean of heartfelt sonic emotion.”
Alto Riot: ‘Pianistic Perfection Courtesy of Diana Gabrielyan’ / 1 May 2014
“Gabrielyan shows no signs of faltering on the apprehensive pacing of Stravinsky’s neo-classical sonata as well as maintaining the serious undertone imagery in her interpretation of Shostakovich’s sonata. The Armenian pianist’s fingers elegantly and fluidly move in poetry of drastic works so expressive and provoking, the album is primarily an ocean of heartfelt sonic emotion. Not to be lost in an album full of high remarks is Diana Gabrielyan’s take on Tigran Mansuryan’s “Three Pieces” – which surprisingly is so rich and thoroughly done, that Gabrielyan and her producers would be foolish not to consider a full future album simply of Mansuryan repertoire.”
“Disc of the Day… she plays with unflagging concentration and clear understanding… Gabrielyan observes the score with absolute fidelity.”
Words & Music: ‘Russians & Americans Share Disc’ – Rick Jones / 18 May 2014
“Disc of the Day: released last week on the 'not for profit' Odradek label is Armenian Diana Gabrielyan's recital of works by Stravinsky and Shostakovich, and two of her compatriots, Arno Babajanyan and Tigran Mansuryan. She opens with her best number, Stravinsky's Piano Sonata No.1 which she plays with unflagging concentration and clear understanding for the Russian's anti-Romantic message. The first movement runs in concrete-edged counterpoint, quick, clinical and serious, without wasting emotional energy. The middle movement is Bach-like, the long-drawn-out trills borrowed from the Goldberg Variations. The last is crisply fugal, the equal parts 'sounding together' with a nod to the derivation of 'sonata' as Stravinsky wished... Gabrielyan locates the sting in Shostakovich's Piano Sonata No.1 and keeps these biting dissonances at the forefront of her interpretation... Her performance of Babajanyan's Elegy warms the simple minor waltz theme... Mansuryan's Three Pieces employ the sort of serialism in which even the dynamics are imposed as part of a plan... Gabrielyan observes the score with absolute fidelity.”
“Diana Gabrielyan is a name to watch out for as she plays extremely well. I particularly enjoyed her performances of the Stravinsky and Shostakovich.”
Music Web International – Steve Arloff / 11 July 2014
“This disc presents piano works from the post-Great War and post-Second World War periods. Two of them are Russian and two from Armenia whence the pianist Diana Gabrielyan hails...
Diana Gabrielyan is a name to watch out for as she plays extremely well. I particularly enjoyed her performances of the Stravinsky and Shostakovich. I also thoroughly approve of the stated aims of the new record label Odradek which sets out to be ‘a non-profit artist-controlled label’. This should give chances to young up-and-coming musicians who would otherwise find it difficult to break into a recording career.”
“Throughout she displays a clear, delicate touch… Gabrielyan brings out the varied colours of this music, but it’s the clutch of pieces by Stravinsky which really reveal her musical intelligence.”
BBC Music Magazine – Ivan Hewett / August 2014
“The recording label Odradek is nothing if not high-minded. It works only with musicians who have a passion for little-known areas of the repertoire, placed in thought-provoking juxtapositions. The label’s latest release is an intriguing melange of Russian and Soviet piano music, from young Armenian pianist Diana Gabrielyan.
Throughout she displays a clear, delicate touch, and a refusal to grandstand even when the virtuoso nature of the music invites it. The varying moods of the fascinating Sonata Op.11 by Shostakovich come to vivid life under her hands. It’s rarely heard, but the set of pieces by Arno Babajanian are even rarer. His Elegy is like a film composer’s imitation of Rachmaninov, but Gabrielyan saves it from kitschiness by a noble understatement.
Babajanian’s later set of Six Pictures are remarkably bold, mingling 12-note method with Armenian folk music. The pieces by Tigran Mansurian are even bolder in their Boulez-like pedalled sonorities. Gabrielyan brings out the varied colours of this music, but it’s the clutch of pieces by Stravinsky which really reveal her musical intelligence. The Piano Sonata can sound dry as dust, but in the slow movement Gabrielyan reveals the dignified lyricism lurking under the music’s brittle surface.”
“… as supple as it is profound… played with great expressiveness and tension. A record that is much more than a business card: the revelation of a pianist of the most interesting personality.”
Pianiste - Stéphane Friédérich / September-October 2014
Pianiste Maestro Award
“The new American label offers us a fascinating disc of the Armenian pianist Diana Gabrielyan, which combines some of the modern piano of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries with the musical roots of her culture. One often enough reproaches Stravinsky for drying his piano writing as to not appreciate the "baroque" life that this interpreter breathes into these pages. Using humor, an innate sense of balance, she produces a piano as supple as it is profound. The clarity of the voices, the suggestion of the accents (Rag Time Music, Tango, Sonata) are extremely accurate. Shostakovich's Sonata is of a radicality that few interpreters have transcribed with such a generous lyricism. This work (1926) with its timbral effects, sometimes muted, prefigure already the last symphonic works. Stunning transition to the Babajanyan pieces that only Armenian pianists (Mamikonian, Shaboyan, Mndyants) experience with a verve and a nostalgic impetus without comparison.
The Images are iridescent, joyfully modern, recalling the writings of Tansman and Schulhoff, for example, testimonies of a time "out of the vanguard". Of an atonal writing, Mansurian’s Three Pieces are played with great expressiveness and tension. A record that is much more than a business card: the revelation of a pianist of the most interesting personality.”
“Superb playing in Stravinsky’s Piano Sonata, especially the Adagietto… Very clean and authoritative piano playing”.
Musique classique & co - Thierry Vagne / 25 December 2016
“Superb playing in Stravinsky’s Piano Sonata, especially the Adagietto, played in a music box manner. Maybe the three following pieces lack some ‘rag’. The Shostakovich First Sonata is certainly a good choice, since it sounds inspired by Igor (and Sergueï). Very clean and authoritative piano playing.
Then the two Armenian composers. Nine pieces by Arno Babadjanyan, the first three ones, rather conventional; the Six pictures are far more interesting, in their serial language allowing however very moving atmospheres (Chorale). A discovery.
The Mansurian three pieces emphasize resonances, much in a Schoenberg / Boulez filiation (the sleeve says Boulez played his music once). Again a precious discovery.”
“… passionate conviction and a breathtaking energy that unifies all contrasting climates into one momentum, revealing an underlying drama… Diana Gabrielyan has to be an astonishing pianist to draw such colours…”
Falcinelli Blog / May 2015
“Diana Gabrielyan, a former child prodigy who went on conquering the international scene at an age when others are still playing with dolls, adds to our cohort of exiles, having lived in Italy since 1998...
The pianist manages to incarnate the asceticism in which the master excelled, before launching into a dazzling interpretation of Piano Rag Music (1919), fireworks from a genuine avant-garde rather than a genre exercise...
The Piano Sonata (1926) of the young Shostakovich is generally regarded as a bizarre object, upsetting the canons of the form from which it borrows the name and reflecting the excitement of an avant-garde which would not be tolerated much longer in the USSR. It may sound lame if the performer does not know how to tackle it; indeed, how many pianists have we seen lose their footing on this particular piece! But Diana Gabrielyan seizes it with passionate conviction and a breathtaking energy that unifies all contrasting climates into one momentum, revealing an underlying drama: threatening shadows in the first Adagio, roars in the depths of the piano at the end of Poco meno mosso! Diana Gabrielyan has to be an astonishing pianist to draw such colours, worthy of the scariest Victor Hugo depictions.
And what beautiful, unreal atmospheres in the second "impressionist" Adagio! What she accomplishes here is a reference version of the Sonata op.12, disarming the arguments of those who would deny the qualities of this atypical work. With Stravinsky as with Shostakovich, this graceful young woman succeeds in conveying dissonances without a hint of dryness, but rather with incandescence.