Valentin Sil­ve­strov: Pi­ano Sonatas Del­phian ★★★★

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - MICHAEL DER­VAN

In the early 1970s, some years be­fore Es­to­nia’s Arvo Pärt turned his back on the sound-world of the Western avant-garde, Ukrainian com­poser Valentin Sil­ve­strov had taken a sim­i­lar step. The pi­ano mu­sic on this new CD – three num­bered sonatas, the Clas­si­cal Sonata, the first book of Chil­dren’s Mu­sic and Nostal­ghia – was com­pleted be­tween 1972 and 2001. It is haunted by the past, which, for Sil­ve­strov, is a strange place, in­fused with nostal­gia and com­ing down with ghostly echoes. The mu­sic that reaches the ear seems to have floated through a time ma­chine that blurs and dis­torts ev­ery­thing it trans­mits – the sus­tain­ing pedal is cen­tral to the sound-world. Si­mon Smith is well tuned in to the mu­sic’s am­bi­ence.

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