Schubert

Schubert

Schubert

Irina Lankova plays Schubert

INDE056

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Irina Lankova inherited her deep and passionate playing from generations of artists of the brilliant Russian piano school. Blessed with an exceptional sensitivity, she offers very personal and moving interpretations.

Born in Russia, she first studied in Moscow with Irina Temchenko, Vladimir Tropp and Lev Naumov, successor to the legendary Heinrich Neuhaus. Irina Lankova graduated with highest honours from the famous Gnessin Music School in Moscow, followed by Premier Prix with highest honours at Brussels’s Royal Conservatory studying with pianist Evgeny Moguilevsky. She participated in master classes with Vitaly Margulis and received personal advice from Vladimir Ashkenazy. 

 

While living in Belgium, Irina Lankova started her performing career as a soloist at Festival Midi-Minimes, Festival de Wallonie, the Flagey, the Festival Europalia-Russia and Rencontres Internationales d’Enghien.

Her first CD, featuring works of Rachmaninov and Liszt (2004) brought her public acclaim and her first belgian press reviews: «A real talent!» - La Libre Belgique.

Her second album (2006) «Alexander Scriabin - from Romantic to Mystic» has received excellent international critical reviews: «Her touch is genuinely poetic» - The Independent. «A first–rate recording» - International Record Review.

In February 2008, Irina Lankova recorded her third, an all Chopin disc, released to coincide with her triumphant Wigmore Hall debut in July 2008: «The Wigmore Hall debut of Irina Lankova was totally convincing and intensely musical» - Musical Opinion

Since than she has performed regularly at London’s St Martin’s-in-the-Fields (2011, 2012)

In 2009, Irina Lankova was invited to become one of the elite worldwide ‘Steinway Artists’.

 

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    Schubert

    Schubert

    Irina Lankova plays Schubert

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    Journey

     

     

    Schubert’s music has always fascinated me personally and in the past few years I have felt an increasing need to perform it publically. From this deeply felt attraction this recording was born. 

    A long process of this kind is not just about practising, it’s about living your life and allowing your own experiences to help you to understand Schubert’s music.

    The last three piano Sonatas and the Klavierstücke are Schubert’s masterpieces. They have a mature language and an individual style unlike anything that anyone had done before, despite Schubert’s tellingly expressed fear: “Wer vermag nach Beethoven noch etwas zu machen?” (“Who would dare to do anything after Beethoven?”). 

    These works are full of unique features, including their original cyclical constructions, chamber music textures and a rare depth of emotional expression. For me, Schubert expressed tenderness, fragility and the aspiring dream better than anyone else in the history of Western music.

    The great challenge for the interpreter is to convey the extraordinary subtlety of sound while building the very long movements and bringing out the emotional richness of this music in the most natural way.

    Schubert’s mature works often manipulate the listener’s sense of time and forward movement. He introduces passages that suspend time and create a magical dream world. He does it, for example, by making a tonal detachment of a passage from the home-key, — a kind of ‘magical’ shift; or by alternating two contrasting tonalities, often combined with an ostinato rhythm. This creates a sense of standstill, with time and motion suspended and, in this way, he takes us into a new dimension of dreams or memories, just as he hopes for in his famous song An die Musik.

    I have called the album Journey, an obvious reference to the Winterreise song cycle (Winter Journey) which was written in the same period, but not only that, it is a journey in several ways.  The structure and particular musical language of the Sonata, which is the central work of the CD, can be seen as personal journey through alienation, banishment, exile and, finally, homecoming. 

    The first movement, the beginning of the journey, starts very enthusiastically in A major, but this only lasts for a few bars, followed by uncertain and worrying diminished cords and a succession of sharply contrasting themes. The second movement is one of the most poignant and tragic of Schubert’s pages. The third is colourful, full of different moods and fragrances, like a short visit to an exotic foreign country.The fourth is a homecoming, with the expressions of reconciliation and acceptance. For me, personally, it’s about the acceptance of yourself, about finding internal peace.

    The three Klavierstücke D.946 present various moods in a cyclical structure, where the main theme appears with a subtle change of tone each time it returns.

    The Impromptu D899 n°3 ends the album in the spirit of an encore. It is one of the most famous piano works with its endless melody and that unique voice, full of serenity and freedom.