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Kirill Gerstein plays Gilmore-commissioned work on new CD

For Gilmore Artist Kirill Gerstein, the beginning of the season has brought rave reviews.  Following his appearance with the Cleveland Orchestra, Zachary Lewis of the Cleveland Plain Dealer declared, “His was a magnetic, propulsive performance, bristling with energy. … He appears to have a long, illustrious career ahead of him.”  Likewise, of Gerstein’s upcoming performance with the San Francisco Symphony, the Contra Costa Times observed, “Gerstein is a standout even among the impressive current roster of star pianists in the world.”

The new season also marks the release of a new addition to Gerstein’s discography, on the myrios classics label.  Due to hit stores next week, this solo recital CD features works by Liszt, Schumann, and Oliver Knussen, whose Ophelia’s Last Dance was written for Gerstein’s world-premiere performance at the Gilmore Festival this past May.  Musical America styled it an “alluring piece, which offers immediate melodic gratification along with a more serious musical undercurrent,” and Gerstein tackled it with “illuminating clarity and an unassailable technique” (New York Times).  This premiere recording of Ophelia’s Last Dance is coupled with Schumann’s Humoreske and Liszt’s B-minor Sonata, repertoire in which, once again, Gerstein consistently proves his mettle.  After a recent New York recital, the New York Times described how “in Schumann’s Humoreske (Op. 20), Mr. Gerstein kept the singing top line soaring over the accompaniment, even in the work’s more intensely driven sections,” before giving “a spellbinding account” of the Liszt.

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© 21C Media Group, November 2010

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