Johann Sebastian Bach: Choralvorspiele "Ich ruf’ zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ", BWV 639 & "Nun komm’ der Heiden Heiland", BWV 659 – Chaconne from Partita No 2 for solo violin, BWV 1004 (arranged by Ferruccio Busoni) – Prelude in B Minor, BWV 855a (Transcription by Alexander Siloti)
Sofia Gubaidulina: Chaconne
Paul Hindemith: Suite “1922” for keyboard
Anna Gourari (piano)
Recorded at Historischer Reitstadel, Neumarkt, in Oberpfalz, Germany (2011) – 59’18
ECM New Series: B0017622-02 – Liner notes in English & German
A native from the Republic of Tatarstan, pianist Anna Gourari has an impressive career behind her and a bright future ahead. She received numerous accolades (among which first prize in the 1994 Clara Schumann piano competition in Düsseldorf) for her performances with conductors like Colin Davis, Lorin Maazel, Iván Fischer, to name just a few, and a rich discography that includes major works of the piano repertoire by Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Bartók, Scriabine, Zemlinsky, Poulenc, and the likes of Günter Bialas, Rodion Shchedrin, or Jörg Widmann.
In this new releases, Gourari explores two of the most affecting of J.S. Bach chorale preludes “Ich ruf’ zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ” and “Nun komm’ der Heiden Heiland” in the Busoni’s arrangements. The playing is soft, delicate, and profoundly mystical at times. Busoni’s transcription of the Chaconne from Bach’s Partita No2 for violin solo is less convincing and in Siloti’s transcription of the Prelude in B Minor, Gourari sounds less involved, occasionally aloof.
The next track is in stunning contrast with the Bach/Busoni. Sofia Gubaidulina (b. 1931)’s Chaconne (1964) with its striking fff opening chords is played with extreme intensity by Gourari.
Hindemith’s Suite 1922, despite its seemingly ferocious, sarcastic and dark textures is played with relentless, albeit rigorous, jazzy rhythm (“Ragtime”); or subtle, almost juvenile lyricism in “Nachtstück.”
This recording is a valuable contribution to a rarely performed repertoire.