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Pianist Marianna Rashkovetsky has released her 3rd album for Americus. Just like the dream-like cover, this album contains superb performances of two Mozart fantasies, Schubert's fiendishly difficult Wanderer Fantasy, and Chopin's Polonaise-Fantasie in A-flat Major, Op. 61.

7 Tracks – Total Time: 55:14

Pianist Marianna Rashkovetsky has released her 3rd album for Americus. Just like the dream-like cover, this album contains superb performances of two fantasies by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart [1756-1791], and the fiendishly difficult Wanderer Fantasy by Franz Schubert [1797-1828], and the technically difficult but somewhat neglected Polonaise-Fantasie in A-flat Major, Op. 61 by Frédéric Chopin [1810-1849].

From the Album Notes:

The first known instance of fantasie being used as the title of a musical work dates to the 16th century. The name indicated that the piece expressed a musical “thought,” rather than exemplifying a particular genre or structural form. From then on, fantasie (German), alternately, fantasia (Italian) or fantasy (English), has been the term used to denote any piece that takes its form only from the composer’s imagination.

Fantasies always challenge the listener to travel with the composer through a spontaneous, ever-changing musical landscape. And yet, they remain historically rooted. For example, any fantasie by Mozart or Chopin reflects the intellectual currents of the composer’s era. Mozart, a child of the Enlightenment, composed fantasies that are objective, impersonal, and rational, even as he explored exquisite style and texture. In contrast, Chopin’s fantasies, are subjective, freely emotive, and express a highly personal, interior reality — as we would expect from an exemplar of Romanticism.

Performing the fantasies on this disc required me to be attentive to the score and the composer’s intent, while remaining open to musical possibility and subtle shades of meaning. I had to use my own imagination and marshal both technical expertise and historical knowledge. These fantasies were a pleasure to prepare, and I hope that you will love listening to them.

Complete Album Notes...

Marianna Rashkovetsky – Pianist

Russian-born Marianna Rashkovetsky has beguiled both critics and audiences with her vivacious and authoritative performances, evoking enthusiastic comparisons to such celebrated pianists as Glenn Gould and Rosalyn Tureck. The distinguished critic Jed Distler, writing for Classics Today about Ms. Rashkovetsky’s 2002 album on the Angelok label, praised her playing as eloquent and ravishing, with “imagination and character at every turn.” Other critics have noted her “magical” music making, “dramatic temperament,” and “masterful delivery.” 

Ms. Rashkovetsky is a musical descendant of Heinrich Neuhaus, a giant of Russian piano pedagogy, whose students included Richter and Gilels. Ms. Rashkovetsky studied with Neuhaus protégée, Lina Bulatova, at Moscow’s Gnessin Academy of Music, earning a master’s degree from that institution.

Currently, Ms. Rashkovetsky teaches private students at her piano studio and also serves on the faculty of the Indian Hill Music Center in Littleton, Massachusetts, west of Boston. Her students have been frequent prize winners at local and regional competitions and have performed at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York City. Ms. Rashkovetsky maintains an active concert schedule both in the U.S. and Europe where her engagements include solo, chamber music and orchestral soloist performances. Her performances at prominent international music festivals, including Les Floraisons Musicales, Musique en Euroregions, and Nancyphonies in France, Armonie Sotta la Roca in Italy, and Promenade in Germany, have invoked high praise from fellow musicians and audiences alike.

She was honored to be invited to perform as a soloist with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Constantine Orbelian; the Sebestyen String Orchestra with Katalin Sebestyen conducting; the Indian Hill Symphony, under the baton of Bruce Hangen; and, the Ventura Festival Orchestra, with Navroj Mehta. In March 2007, Ms. Rashkovetsky performed the Grieg Piano Concerto with the New York Scandia Symphony Orchestra, Dorrit Matson conductor. Her most recent appearances have been with the International Music Festival in Portofino, Italy and PianoEchoes in Monferrato, Italy. Ms. Rashkovetsky’s knowledge of repertoire is sweeping; she performs works from the Baroque period to those by contemporary composers. Her interpretation of Scarlatti, J.S. Bach, and Chopin has earned accolades. Ms. Rashkovetsky has worked directly with American composer Gerald Shapiro and French composer Francoise Choveaux. In April 2005, Rashkovetsky premiered Choveaux’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, in Messina Italy. In addition to her work as a pedagogue and concert pianist, Ms. Rashkovetsky has recorded privately and for the Americus and Angelok labels. Her recordings, which have elicited glowing critical notice, present works by J.S. Bach, Scarlatti, Schubert, Liszt, Grieg, Chopin, and Brahms.