You are on page 1of 13

DE 3520

Gleb Ivanov
“A young super-virtuoso, with musical sensitivity and an appreciation
of style to go with the thunder and lightning” The New York Times

STRAUSS-GRÜNFELD: Soirée de Vienne, Op. 56

RESPIGHI: Notturno, P 011
SCHUBERT-LISZT: Liebesbotschaft; Aufenthalt; Am Meer; Erlkönig
SCHUBERT: Sonata in A Major, D. 664, Op. 120
CHOPIN: 4 Mazurkas, Op. 41
LISZT: Die Lorelei, S. 532
RACHMANINOFF: Mélodie, Op. 3; Humoresque, Op. 10
GRIEG-GINZBURG: In the Hall of the Mountain King


Total Playing Time: 70:55

1. STRAUSS-GRÜNFELD: Soirée de CHOPIN: Mazurkas, Op. 41
Vienne, Op. 56 (Arr. Ivanov) (5:53) 10. No. 1 in C-sharp Minor (2:52)
11. No. 2 in E Minor (1:50)
2. RESPIGHI: Notturno in G-flat 12. No. 3 in B Major (1:13)
Major, P 011 (6:11) 13. No. 4 in A-flat Major (1:39)

SCHUBERT-LISZT 14. LISZT: Die Lorelei, S.532 (5:59)

3. Liebesbotschaft, S.560/10 (3:07)
4. Aufenthalt, S.560/3 (3:02) RACHMANINOFF
5. Am Meer, S.560/6 (5:01) 15. Mélodie, Op. 3, No. 3 (3:51)
6. Erlkönig, S.558/4 (4:34) 16. Humoresque, Op. 10, No. 5 (3:20)


D.664, Op. 120 17. In the Hall of the Mountain
7. Allegro (7:53) King (2:16)
8. Andante (4:52)
9. Allegro (7:16)

Total Playing Time: 70:55

ussian pianist Gleb Ivanov is stems from a deep connection to the
deeply sensitive to his musical emotional triggers great technique
ancestry. It informs every aspect can unlock. Ivanov listens to record-
of his playing, from his choice of rep- ings obsessively. More interestingly,
ertoire to his stage presence. Indeed, it is rarely the work that fascinates
his noble bearing and posture recall him, as much as the performer. His
musicians such as György Cziffra CD shelves are crammed with hun-
(who barely moved even during the dreds of recordings by Glenn Gould,
most physically exacting passages) or Horowitz, Rachmaninoff, William
Vladimir Horowitz (whose expression Kapell, György Cziffra, and others
when playing was nearly blank except (among them Jascha Heifetz, Maria
for his exceedingly expressive eye- Callas, and Paco di Lucia). There are
brows). Ivanov’s technical prowess is few recordings of living performers.
no less than theirs; he has the ability
to play highly challenging music so To Ivanov, the piano is a vocal instru-
effortlessly that we may forget its pia- ment. Even when playing the works of
nistic difficulty and revel in its musical Prokofiev – a composer-pianist who
virtues. believed the piano to be a true per-
cussion instrument – Ivanov seeks to
Ivanov’s fascination with the great pi- produce a human voice. His earliest
anists of the twentieth century reveals performances were accompanying
a dedication to the tradition of piano his father, the baritone Vladimir Ivan-
virtuosity. It is not enough for Ivanov ov, and the sound of opera permeat-
to play a brilliant virtuoso piece, for ed his childhood. It reached his sister,
that is not what he feels made Rach- harpist Varvara Ivanova, and brother,
maninoff a great pianist, nor Horow- cellist Danila Ivanov, and his mother,
itz. That last stretch of greatness harpist Zoya Slootskovskaya. When
comes from an electricity that only Gleb and his siblings weren’t at their
instruments, they were usually listen- bring forth the embedded vocal part
ing to recordings of nineteenth-cen- is the great challenge in performing
tury Italian opera, music resplendent these works.
with broad, soaring vocalism.
The first three transcriptions
Therefore, for Ivanov to have chosen come from Schubert’s song cycle
a program redolent with vocal music Schwanengesang, D.957, which in-
transcribed by some of history’s finest cludes texts by three different poets
pianists seems natural. The four Liszt and was published posthumously. In
transcriptions here of some of Franz this performance, Ivanov brings to-
Schubert’s lieder are familiar to many gether the songs Liebesbotschaft,
pianists, but Die Lorelei, a transcrip- where our narrator invites a brook
tion Liszt made of one of his own to deliver a message of love, Aufen-
songs, is known by few pianists even thalt, where he compares his emo-
as it has been familiar repertoire to tional turmoil to forces of nature, and
some of the greatest singers. Am Meer, where he describes a sea-
side meeting of anguished lovers.
Franz Liszt himself was enamored of
great vocal music, and his transcrip- In this recital Erlkönig is a wonder-
tions span both art song and opera. ful companion piece to In the Hall
The Schubert transcriptions here of the Mountain King. Schubert
were chosen from Liszt’s nearly one wrote the song at the age of eigh-
hundred based upon the great Ger- teen, which tells of a father riding
man songwriter (comprising less than madly with his child, who is being
a sixth of Liszt’s output of transcrip- terrified and chased by the evil Erl-
tions). Liszt deftly treats Schubert’s King. But there is no escape: when
accompaniments with equal impor- they reach home, his child is dead.
tance to the vocal line. To elegantly Schubert’s accompaniment features
relentlessly repeating octaves, evok- Liszt’s Die Lorelei is set to a Heinrich
ing the horse’s desperate galloping. Heine poem with a steady meter. Liszt
Liszt’s transcription is true to the dra- abandons Heine’s rhythm and pur-
ma in Schubert’s evocative setting. sues a melodic line governed by the
meaning of the text, pausing on high
Ivanov chose to include Schubert’s notes paired with words of greater
Sonata in A Major, D. 664, Op. 120 meaning. The song must have been
for its pristine vocal line. Ivanov feels an important one to Liszt. He first
that “Schubert writes with varied wrote the song in 1841, arranged
speech textures. To me, the mu- it for solo piano in 1843, revised
sic represents a human conversation, it in 1854, orchestrated it in 1860,
speech, real words; some of them are and revised the piano arrangement
shorter and others are longer.” again in 1861. It is this final version
that Ivanov plays. The story of Die
This sonata is believed to have been
Lorelei is of a beautiful maiden who
written in 1819. Schubert was vaca-
combs her golden hair with a golden
tioning with his friend, the acclaimed
comb. She sings on the cliffs, luring
singer Johann Michael Vogl, when
boatmen to their doom.
he met Sylvester Paumgartner, a
wealthy iron miner and amateur cel- The Notturno in G-flat Major by Ital-
list, who commissioned Schubert to ian composer Ottorino Respighi was
write the quintet now known as “The written around 1905 as one of a set
Trout.” This piano sonata, published of six small works for piano. The com-
posthumously in 1829, was com- poser was at this time in St. Peters-
missioned at the same time by one burg as the principal violist of the Im-
of Paumgartner’s friends for his wife. perial Opera. During his three years
The manuscript is missing. in Russia, he studied composition

with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, whose in the progressively dissonant mu-
influence on Respighi was profound. sic being written by his contemporar-
ies. Yet all seem to be in agreement
For years Respighi’s Notturno has that he is one of classical music’s
been a staple of Ivanov’s perfor- greatest melodists.
mance repertoire, appearing fre-
quently as an encore work when not Mélodie, Op. 3, No. 3 and Humor-
programmed. Respighi was, after esque, Op. 10, No. 5 represent com-
all, only one generation removed plementary sides to Rachmaninoff’s
from Puccini, that most lionized op- lyrical and pianistic imagination. The
era composer of his time, and even Mélodie, a less-often performed work
Verdi had died only four years prior from the same opus as the famous
to the composition of the Notturno. Prelude in C-sharp Minor, is really a
Though Respighi’s operas may not be tenor aria, occasionally strengthened
often performed today, it is worth re- by octaves, but unwavering in its
membering that he wrote at least ten broad melody set upon a pulsating
that were premiered. Meanwhile, he orchestral accompaniment. It is a re-
played the substantially difficult piano minder that in addition to his many
part at the premiere of his Toccata for famous works for piano, Rachmani-
Piano and Orchestra. noff was also the composer of more
than eighty wonderful songs. The
One can hear the pianism on Rach- Humoresque, following those writ-
maninoff’s many recordings to expe- ten by Schumann, Tchaikovsky, and
rience his noble and poetic musical Dvořák, is a playfully moody work
vision. During his lifetime, he was with many quick musical surprises.
often criticized for writing sentimen-
tal music in the Romantic tradition, “You know I have four new Mazur-
and it is fair to note his disinterest kas, one from Palma, in E minor;
three from here, in B major, A-flat dition, and not just for dancing. It
major and C-sharp minor. They seem makes extended appearances in Leo
to me pretty, as the youngest chil- Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and War and
dren usually do when the parents Peace, and Arkady reserves the ma-
grow old.” These were the words of zurka for Madame Odintsova, the
Frédéric Chopin, not yet thirty years object of his affections, in Ivan Tur-
old, in poor health and depressed at genev’s Fathers and Sons. The Amer-
the time of these works’ composition. ican critic James Huneker observed
The first of the Op. 41 set was com- that “In the salons of St. Petersburg,
posed in 1838 in Majorca, two years for instance, the guests actually
prior to the composition of the other dance; they do not merely sham-
three; those were written at Nohant, ble to and fro in a crowd… Mazur-
at the summer home of his lover kas need a good deal of room, one
George Sand. or more spurred officers, and grace,
grace and grace.”
Franz Liszt’s words about the mazur-
ka form were, “Coquetries, vanities, Ivanov bookends this recital with tran-
fantasies, inclinations, elegies, vague scriptions by the pianists Alfred Grün-
emotions, passions, conquests, strug- feld and Grigory Ginzburg. Grünfeld,
gles upon which the safety or favors an Austrian student of the eminent
of others depend, all, all meet in this pedagogue Theodore Kullak, served
dance” – and all are elements that are much of his career as court pianist
the stuff of poetry. Chopin dedicated to Emperor Wilhelm I of Germany,
this opus to Étienne (Stefan) Witwicki, and was a professor at the Vienna
a poet and close friend whose texts Conservatory. In keeping with his na-
were set to ten of Chopin’s nineteen tionalistic post, he wrote many spar-
songs. To Ivanov, the mazurka is also kling transcriptions and paraphrases
deeply part of Russia’s literary tra- on the waltzes of Johann Strauss, Jr.,
among them this Soirée de Vienne, It is also through Grigory Ginzburg
Op. 56. that this recording comes full circle.
Ivanov’s final piano teacher in Rus-
The Russian pianist Grigory Ginzburg, sia before he settled in the United
a student of Alexander Goldenweiser, States was Lev Naumov of the Mos-
won the prestigious Gold Medal of cow Conservatory, and his continued
the Vienna Conservatory, and em- studies in New York have been with
barked on a performance career that Nina Svetlanova. The teacher of both
was marked by an unusual balance Svetlanova and Naumov at the con-
of repertoire for his time. He was servatory, Heinrich Neuhaus, earned
drawn to the operatic paraphrases of his teaching post only shortly before
Liszt and the transcriptions by Busoni Ginzburg did in 1929. Ivanov is acute-
and Godowsky of J. S. Bach. Though ly aware that the Moscow Conserva-
Ginzburg’s transcriptions are fewer in tory’s pianistic tradition reaches back
number, they are no less impressive in over the twentieth century, right to
their pianism and electricity. the time when Rachmaninoff himself
walked the halls as a student eager to
In the sixth scene of Act 2, Peer Gynt,
carry on the pianistic and composi-
Henrik Ibsen’s hero from the epony-
tional traditions of Liszt.
mous play, appears in the presence
of Dovregubben, the troll king of the
mountain. Below his throne, a great — William McNally
host of goblins, trolls, and gnomes
are in a great uproar. Through Ginz-
burg’s transcription of this most famil-
iar work, Ivanov concludes his pro-
gram with a dazzling performance of
this grotesque scene.
ABOUT GLEB IVANOV igan, Eastern Connecticut, South Bend,
Westmoreland, Southwest Florida,
Peoria, Knoxville, Dearborn, Las Cruces,
Ever since his auspicious New York de- Grand Rapids, Fort Smith, Southern Fin-
but, pianist Gleb Ivanov has been rec- ger Lakes, Springfield, and Napa Valley;
ognized as an important presence in the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra
the music world. The New York Times and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic.
wrote: Gleb Ivanov “A cut above the
usual, a young super-virtuoso, with Adored in Paris, he has been re-en-
musical sensitivity and an appreciation gaged four times by the Louvre
of style to go with the thunder and Museum for specially requested all-
lightning.” He has been thrilling audi- Schubert and all-Chopin concerts.
ences in recital and orchestra engage- Mr. Ivanov has also been frequently
ments, which have included concertos re-engaged by Princeton University,
highlighting Russian composers: Rach- The Paramount Theater in Vermont,
maninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Paganini with the Omaha Symphony in Boston, “Pianofest” in East Hamp-
Orchestra, Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 3 ton, Bargemusic in New York City, and
with The Charlottesville Symphony Or- at Fishers Island Concerts.
chestra and Rachmaninoff’s Concerto
No. 3 with the Marin Symphony Or- In recognition of impressive career
chestra. achievement, Ivanov was awarded the
Michaels Award of Young Concert Art-
A sought-after soloist, he has performed ists, which brought his Lincoln Center
a wide range of repertoire with orches- recital debut at Alice Tully Hall and a
tras including the symphony orchestras rave review in The New York Times. His
of Missouri, Johnstown, Western Mich- program of Russian repertoire includ-

ed works by Prokofiev and the Rach- and his Washington, D.C., debut at the
maninoff Cello Sonata with New York Kennedy Center, to critical acclaim.
Philharmonic principal cellist Carter
Brey (YCA alumnus) as his guest. Mr. Ivanov comes from a family of
musicians, and began to accompany
At a young age in Russia, Ivanov was his father’s vocal recitals at the age of
a protégé of Mstislav Rostropovich, eight. He has also played the clarinet
appearing as soloist under the famous and the accordion, and holds a di-
maestro with the Nizhny Novgorod ploma in clarinet from Lyardov High
Philharmonic. He also performed with School. He graduated from the Mos-
the Moscow State Orchestra, with the cow Conservatory in 2005, where his
Kremlin Orchestra, and at the Pushkin, teachers included the renowned Lev
Glinka, and Scriabin Museums in Mos- Naumov. Moving to the United States
cow. Mr. Ivanov won First Prizes at the after winning the YCA Auditions, Mr.
1994 and 1996 International “Classical Ivanov earned his master’s degree
Legacy” Competition, and the prize from the Manhattan School of Music,
for Best Performance of a Beethoven working with Nina Svetlanova. Mr. Ivan-
Sonata at the First Vladimir Horowitz ov has received Musical Studies Grants
Competition in Kiev. from the Bagby Foundation.
Months after arriving in the United
States, Mr. Ivanov won First Prize in the
2005 Young Concert Artists Interna-
tional Auditions. He received an award
from the Jack Romann Special Artists
Fund of YCA and made his New York
debut in 2006 at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall

Cover photo: Christian Steiner

Producers: Vladimir Ryabenko (Tracks 1-9, 14 and 15) and Maria Guryleva
(Tracks 10-13, 16 and 17)
Editing and Mastering: Vladimir Ryabenko
Booklet editor: Anne Maley
Design and layout: Lonnie Kunkel
Tracks 1-9, 14 and 15 recorded September 2014 in St. Petersburg, Russia,
PR-STUDIO (Petersburg Recording Studio).
Tracks 10-13, 16 and 17 recorded February 2011 in Red Hook, NJ.

Heartfelt Thanks To:

Ellen and James Marcus
Jane F. Ross
Roger Samet
Annaliese Soros
Ann and James O'Keefe
Young Concert Artists, Inc.

© 2016 Delos ProDuctions, inc., P.o. Box 343, sonoma, ca 95476-9998

(707) 996-3844 • Fax (707) 320-0600 • (800) 364-0645 •
maDe in usa
Gleb Ivanov


DE 3520