CD-1245(1) IMPROMPTU: A TREASURY OF EXTEMPORANEOUS PIANO COMPOSITIONS, 1821-2008. Margarita Glebov, piano. Includes 4 world premiere recordings of works, of which 2 were specially commissioned for this collection. Jan Václav Voříšek (1791-1825): Impromptu, Op. 7 No. 6 in B Major (1821); Franz Liszt (1811-1886): Nocturne-Impromptu in F-sharp Major (1872); César Cui (1835-1918): Impromptu-Caprice in E Major (1896); Mily Balakirev (1837-1910): Impromptu on two preludes by Chopin (1907); Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881): Impromptu passioné (1859); Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908): Impromptu, Op. 11 No.1 (1878): Prelude-Impromptu, Op. 38 No. 1 (1896); Moritz Moszkowski (1854-1925): Fantaisie-Impromptu, Op. 6 (1870); Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904): Impromptu in D minor, B. 129 (1883); Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924): Impromptu, Op. 25 No. 1 (1881); Felix Blumenfeld (1863-1931): Impromptu in B minor, Op. 28 (1898) Leopold Godowsky (1870-1938): Impromptu in E-flat minor (1929) (premiere recording); Arno Babadjanian (1921-1983): Impromptu in B minor (1944); Francis Poulenc (1899-1963): Five Impromptus (1920, rev. 1939); Nicolai Mazhara (b. 1977): Impromtu (2008) (premiere recording); Altin Volaj (b. 1974) Impromptu (2008) (premiere recording); Antonio Bibalo (1922-2008): Tango-Impromptu (2004) (premiere recording). UPC# 0-17685-12452-5.
BUZZ: The origin of the word ‘impromptu’ comes from the Latin “in promptu,” meaning “in readiness” or “at hand.” Subsequently it evolved into a French word meaning “unpremeditated” or “extemporaneous.” ‘Impromptu’ as a title for a musical composition first appeared in the early 19th century, shortly before Schubert composed his two famous sets in 1827. Although the title itself suggests an element of extemporization, most of the published impromptus are in fact very carefully crafted.
The composers of impromptus who immediately come to mind are Schubert and Chopin. Chopin’s four and Schubert’s two sets are by far the most familiar examples in the piano literature.
However, numerous other composers, both mainstream and little-known, have written such pieces during the 19th century and later. In fact, in the 19th century alone there were over 2,000 impromptus published.
This CD presents a selection of the less frequently performed impromptus that span a period of nearly two centuries, starting with an 1821 work that was among the first ones to be published with this title and concluding with two that were written as recently as 2008. Among these pieces are four that have been recorded for the first timeÂthose by Godowsky, Bibalo, Volaj, and Mazhara. The impromptus by the two last-named composers were written in response to the artist’s request so she could include the most recent such works for piano in this project.
The Russian-American pianist Margarita Glebov recently earned her doctorate in music at the University of Maryland.
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