Home Music Angelina Gadeliya: Schnittke and His Ghosts

Angelina Gadeliya: Schnittke and His Ghosts


Angelina-Gadeliya-JDGAlfred Schnittke (1934 – 1998): Variations on a Chord; Anton Webern (1883 – 1945): Variations for Piano Op. 27 Sehr Mässig; Sehr Schnell; Ruhig; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791): Adagio K. 540 in B minor; Dimitri Shostakovich (1906 – 1975): Three Variations on a Theme by Glinka Adagio – Allegretto – Finale: Moderato maestoso; Alfred Schnittke: Sonata No. 2 (I, II, III); Alexander Scriabin (1872 – 1915): Sonata No. 4 in F-sharp major, Op. 30 (I, II) – Produced by Heiner StadlerAngelina Gadeliya: pianoforte

Does a pianist’s nationality guarantee empathy with the music of his land? Schnabel and Beethoven, Rubenstein and Chopin, Alicia de Larrocha and Albéniz may be synonymous; but what of Gadeliya (Georgian) in Schnittke, Shostakovich and Scriabin, or for that matter Webern (German), or Mozart (Austrian)? “The music is in her blood” easily becomes the stuff of cliché. Yet listening to Angelina Gadeliya’s Schnittke, Shostakovich and Scriabin, it’s hard to imagine playing more indelibly Russian—late Russian, to be precise. And then there is Gadeliya on Webern and Mozart; and I am immediately struck by the chameleonic nature of Gadeliya.

Angelina-Schnittke-JDGI wonder no more that Angelina Gadeliya’s daunting mastery is complemented by the opening of magical casements and all that sort of thing; but at the same time the pianist might not yet be caught up to in her native Georgia or Russia for that matter. But there is no mistaking the rare ingenuity of her magical interpretations of not just the Russians, but also the German and the Austrian. Her Schnittke is spare, imposing and at the same time, wry and of good humour. Her Webern is punctilious and the Shostakovich and Mozart are lyrical; romantic to a fault. Here then do we have a pianist whose volatility is complemented by the finest lyricism; whose imaginations of Schnittke and his ghosts is refined and awe-inspiring.

The more restrained Schnittke Variations on a Chord and Sonata No. 2 are marvels of poise counterbalancing a performance of Scriabin’s Sonata No. 4 in F-sharp major of such visceral strength that it makes you recall Edgar Allen Poe’s “tintinnabulations that so musically wells/the bells, bells, bells, bells”. These final pages too are given with an intensity suggesting pain rather than emotion recollected in tranquillity, and in the second movement of the No. 4 there is ample contrast between the tortured climbing of Schnittke’s No. 2 and the pulverising virtuosity in Webern’s Variations for piano Op. 27. In Schnittke, Angelina Gadeliya is especially convincing, as if inspired by his ghost itself. She is also mesmeric, more so than any other pianist from Russia, or Georgia, for that matter, and here she erases all sense of longueurs (as if there ever was such a series of moments) making your hair stand on end in the sinister inquieto interjections Her balletic turn on Scriabin’s second movement of the No. 4 (track 11 on this disc) is rhythmically keen and finds her in her best form responding to the quirky alternations of the recondite and exuberant manner of the composition.

So enviably fluent is this complete disc, so felicitous and lyrical is Gadeliya’s programme that you may very well recall Jorge Bolet during the early part of his career. Gadeliya is your pianist, a true Titan with a heart of gold. Angelina Gadeliya is truly to the manor born, whose opalescent magic is absolutely fetching. She is a pianist whose musicianship shows great intellect and intuition. Few more powerful or eloquent performances exist on record, with the possible exceptions of the composers themselves…What a fine manner in which to continue Labor Records’ fine series (this is Volume 8) of Music of Tribute…

Label: Labor Records
Release date: April 2015
Website: angelinagadeliya.com
Buy music on: amazon

About Angelina Gadeliya

Praised for her “refined and exceptionally phrased and stylized” playing (Telavivcity.com), and her “rare ability to make music speak” (The Gazette), Ukrainian pianist Angelina Gadeliya has received high critical acclaim for her performances as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician throughout the United States and across Europe. Born in Sukhumi, Georgia, Angelina began her musical studies there at the age of five, and continued them in Ukraine up until moving to the US in 1990. She completed three seasons with the prestigious Ensemble ACJW, bringing classical music to NYC public schools, and performing regularly at Carnegie Hall as well as at the Juilliard School. Read more…


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