© Aart van der Wal, oktober 2023

Resilience - Yulianna Avdeeva

Szpilman: Mazurek - Suite 'The Life of the Machines'

Sjostakovitsj: Pianosonate nr. 1 op. 12

Weinberg: Pianosonate nr. 4 in b, op. 56

Prokofjev: Pianosonate nr. 8 in Bes, op. 84

Yulianna Avdeeva (piano)
Pentatone PTC 5187 073 • 74' •
Opname: dec. 2020 & maart 2021, Teldex Studio, Berlijn


In 1946 publiceerde de Pools-joodse pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman in Warschau zijn autobiografie Smierc miasta, De pianist . Het boek werd in 2002 verfilmd door Roman Polanski: The Pianist. U kunt hier het nodige over Szpilman lezen.

Dit recital-album van Yulianna Avdeeva (*1985), tevens het debuut van deze Russische pianiste op het Pentatone-label, heeft als rode draad de menselijke tragedie in de vorm van oorlog, repressie en vervolging. De muziek straalt het ook uit, in zowel het motorische, hamerende, wanhopige en desolate, als de verstilde herinneringen aan een wereld die diep gehavend was geraakt.

Avdeeva heeft aan deze muziek een indrukwekkend ‘gezicht' gegeven, mede ingegeven door wat haar in september 2020 overkwam, toen nabestaanden van Szpilman haar spontaan vroegen om op zijn piano te spelen.


I believe that the piano is the closest friend of its owner and becomes the keeper of their most intimate feelings and secrets. Performing the pieces that had played a significant role in Szpilman's biography on his own piano was a unique opportunity to come closer to this inspiring personality. Among the pieces I played was Chopin's C-Sharp Minor Nocturne Op. posth. which was one of the last pieces Szpilman performed on the Polish Radio before the building was bombed in September 1939. It was also the piece he played for a German officer Wilm Hosenfeld at the Aleja Niepodleglosci Street 223 in Warsaw in 1944 — a performance that saved his life. In the past years the world has been shaken by tragedies which affected so many people around the globe. Perhaps it was providence that during this in my personal experience unprecedented time I was going to play the instrument of Wladislaw Szpilman. A person, whose never-ending belief in the good in humanity and strong will to live, no matter how hopeless the situation, guided him through one of the darkest times in history.

Delving into Szpilman's music deeply resonated within me, and I realized that when all of my coping mechanisms were exhausted, my rescue was to reflect about difficult situations using the language of music.

Thus the idea for this album was born: It was to be Wladyslaw Szpilman's music that should provide the frame for this recording.

En over Weinberg, Sjostakovitsj en Prokofjev:

All of these composers doubtlessly faced their very individual fates as human beings but their personal tragedies were immediate results of grave global disasters. The personal reaction, processing and conclusion of those crises by each of these composers was very different, according to their personalities. Nevertheless what connects them from my perspective is the enormous strength and courage to remain faithful and to hold on the highest human ideals, finding the way to express themselves in their music and not to surrender under the pressure around them. The pieces on this recording provide various ways of overcoming the darkness. They remind us of who we are and what we stand for. Listening to their music brings us closer together and helps to see the light, no matter how dark the reality seems to be. It is the inexhaustible source that gives hope, light and belief. The music made them resilient in their own times of social unrest and global changes.


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