The extraordinary story of three Hungarian-Jewish sisters who were raised in Communist Budapest of the 1970s to be chess masters. The Polgar sisters did not choose to become the heroines of this story. It was their father, who, driven by his educational vision, determined their destiny before they were even born. László Polgár believed that "Geniuses are made, not born", and he set out to prove it. The canvas he chose was his three daughters. The medium he chose was chess. No kindergarten, no school… Three girls, isolated from the normal world of kids, studied and practiced chess – with surprising and remarkable results.
No one knows quite when tango was established in Finland, but the style has a long history there – still little known to outsiders – and combines rhythmic interest and yearning melody with a distinctively Nordic melancholy. In this ingeniously curated programme, two Finnish tangos from the 1950s and a tango-based work by Finnish classical composer Aulis Sallinen are woven into a bold tapestry of music from the Eastern Baltic seaboard. Longing, sadness, and a heightened sense of nature infuse all of these works, which also reveal intriguing stylistic connections: the rocking accompaniment of Sibelius’ 'Einsames Lied' seems to prefigure the ‘Baltic minimalism’ of Vasks, Pärt and Zita Bružaité, while Olli Mustonen’s 'Toccata' alternates rhythmic verve with a rich vein of reflective memory. These original compositions are complemented by Robert McFall’s own sensitive arrangements, for a core McFall’s lineup of five strings and piano, and the programme culminates in a truly unique version of Sibelius’s famous 'Finlandia' Hymn.
"…Stefan Irmer has clearly studied and truly learned this music. So often on a disc of rarely performed music one gets the feeling that the pianist is sight-reading the notes in order to make a recording of previously unrecorded music. Not so here. Irmer performs with wonderful clarity, variety of tone, panache, and commitment. He truly sells the music.
Natural recorded sound, capturing very well the 1901 Steinway used for the recording, rounds out a delightful disc." ~Fanfare
This CD is an exhilarating and important new contribution to the romantic cello literature. Manuel Fischer-Dieskau is the son of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and the cellist Irmgard Poppen and has made a genuine rediscovery here. These works were only found recently.
Guitarist Peter Vicar, who renamed himself into Peter Inverted, has gathered a strong team whereby vocalist Chritus aka Christian Linderson (ex-Saint Vitus, Count Raven, Terra Firma) is the one who put his stamp on the music because his charismatic vocals are unmistakable. It's a charming album and a few things are improvable, but this is more than just a solid start.