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Natasha - Brahms, Kahane, Prokofiev, Balakirev / Natasha Paremski

Release Date: 08/12/2016
Label: Steinway & Sons Catalog #: 30063
Composer:  Johannes Brahms ,  Gabriel Kahane ,  Sergei Prokofiev ,  Mily Balakirev Performer:  Natasha Paremski

American based pianist Natasha Paremski boasts a fascinating career despite her youth. When she was only 18 years old she was awarded the Gilmore Young Artists Prize. The following year she received the Prix Montblanc, and in 2010 was awarded the Classical Recording Foundationís Young Artist Of The Year. When Paremski released her first concert album in 2011, it shot to number 9 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart. Since then Paremski has been growing her repertoire to a maturity beyond her years, even having works composed for her such as a sonata by Gabriel Kahane, which is featured on this album. For this release, Natasha has chosen works by Brahms, Kahane, Prokofiev, and Balakirev - a diverse program showing her diverse Read more talent.

Album Credits:

This album includes previously released performances.
Tracks 1-10 Recorded at The Recital Hall at the Performing Arts Center, SUNY Purchase on Sept. 7-9, 2010.
Track 11 recorded at Steinway Hall, New York City on October 6, 2015.
Recording Producer, Recording Engineer (tracks 1-10): Adam Abeshouse
Recording Engineer (track 11): Lauren Sturm
Editor (track 11): Kazumi Umeda

Executive Producer: Jon Feidner
Design: Cover to Cover Design, Anilda Carrasquillo
Production Assistant: Robert Hillinck
Photography: Andrea Joynt


Paremski dives into the monster octaves of the first movement of Brahmsís F sharp minor Sonata with steely assurance and the rhythmic incisiveness of a pouncing tigress. In the beautiful Andante con espressione, she keeps the textural shifts between melody and accompaniment in well-contoured perspective. The rapid octaves and chords in the Scherzoís outer sections retain body and definition even in the softest movements (no small feat)."

-- Jed Distler, Gramophone [10/2016]

Russian-American pianist Natasha Paremski (she became a U.S. citizen at eight) was a teenage prodigy and has been a fixture on American and international concert circuits. She's capable of a sharp, percussive tone that grabs one's attention, and she has brought freshness to some of the old virtuoso warhorses. That category is represented here by Balakirev's Islamey, which the composer himself, a noted player of showpieces, admitted was beyond him. From Paremski you get a rip-roaring performance, but really the way it's set up is the main thing here. The Steinway & Sons label, which has devoted itself to exploring the piano recital and its possibilities, was just the right career move for Paremski at this point. The novelty is the edgy performance of the Brahms Piano Sonata No. 2 in F sharp minor, Op. 2, placed at the beginning of the program and used as a sort of storehouse of motivic energy to be pent up and released over the course of the program. You wouldn't want it as your only Brahms No. 2, but here it works in an unusual way; sample the finale for an idea. The program proceeds through a neo-Romantic sonata written for Paremski by Gabriel Kahane (also an idea that fits here) and the thorny, technically punishing Piano Sonata No. 7 in B flat major, Op. 83, of Prokofiev before exploding into the Balakirev finale. The program was not recorded at a single take; the first ten tracks come from a 2010 recording, while the Balakirev was added from a 2015 session at a different location (Steinway Hall, vs. a State University of New York at Purchase auditorium for the earlier performances). No matter: the program hangs together and stimulates even as it dazzles, with the Balakirev as a new finale that tops even the considerable challenges of the Prokofiev. Highly recommended.

-- AllMusic Guide
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