There's no question about pianist Kateryna Titova's technique in her debut recital, and a good thing, too, since the program consists entirely of works by Rachmaninov, the composer of some of the most transcendentally difficult piano music of the fin de siècle. But no matter what the Russian composer asks for -- be it the tumults of notes that open the Allegro agitato of his Second Piano Sonata, the ethereal ostinatos that start the Prélude in G minor, the monumental sonorities that fill the Prélude in C sharp minor, or the feathery arabesques that saturate the composer's transcription of Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee -- the young Ukrainian-born, German-based pianist nails them all. If that were all Titova brought to this music, it would be remarkable but not unusual; there are many pianists out there who could do the same...James Leonard, Rovi
The CD contains seldom performed pieces by Rachmaninov for String Quartet and also arrangements of his romances for voice and String Quartet
Though Luisada is by no means old, his playing takes us back to another age.
Arthur Rubinstein boasted that he changed the way Chopin was perceived, making him more masculine and straightforward than romantic players like de Pachmann and Paderewski did. Rubinstein's Chopin was in fact a reflection of his own more literal time – a time that also produced Backhaus and Toscanini – as well as Rubinstein's own love for the classiciam of Brahms which, under the influence of Joachim, pre-dated the Polish expatriate's love for Chopin.
Rubinstein clearly felt uncomfortable with the feminine, salon qualities that cannot be divorced from Chopin's sensibility. Descriptions of the composer's own playing make it clear that he was improvisatory, ethereal in his dynamics and that he reveled in rubato; Chopin was even accused of not being able to play in time. These qualities are rarely evident in modern players, who imagine they present a "greater" Chopin by robbing him of his true personality.
Luisada is not a modern player. His Chopin evokes memories of some of the greatest interpreters of earlier ages – especially de Pachmann and Maryla Jonas (whose rare recordings are available from Pearl). Luisada's rubato will seem willful and wayward to those raised to believe Rubinstein was the last word on Chopin, but it will delight those who would like to hear something closer to the first word.
–Amazon.com [5-star] review
"Rhythmic firmness was combined with freedom in the declamation of his melodies…" These words describing Frédéric Chopin's piano-playing by his close friend, the German pianist and composer Ferdinand Hiller (1811-1885) could as well describe the playing of Chopin's "grand-student" Raoul von Koczalski (1885-1948)- One of the last pupils of Karol Mikuli (1821-1897) a favorite student of Chopin himself and one who aspired to pass on Chopin's teachings as purely as possible, Koczalski was groomed as a pianist by Mikuli from age seven to eleven. Indeed, Mikuli seems to have chosen the child prodigy Koczalski to be his successor in carrying on the Chopin tradition.