Ad Libitum

About this CD

Sergei Kvitko, acclaimed pianist, composer, recording engineer and producer, presents a unique solo piano CD where he gets to wear all three of these hats. Alongside Mozart’s quintessential Fantasy in D Minor, Haydn’s brilliant Variations in F Minor, and Enrique Granados’ rarely performed, exquisitely passionate and profoundly poetic suite Escenas Romanticas, Mr. Kvitko, in this self-produced and engineered recording, premiers his original virtuoso transcriptions of Bach’s Prelude in C Major – an unexpectedly romantic take on the famous piece; Mussorgsky’s Trepak from “Songs and Dances of Death”- dark and mysterious song transcribed for solo piano in tradition of Schubert-Liszt arrangements; and Eugène Ysaÿe’s Solo Violin Sonata No. 3 “Ballade” – violin bravura masterpiece in its first ever daring arrangement for piano.

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Bach’s Prelude in C Major With a Few Added Notes

Sergei Kvitko with Lucas Segovia & Kara Zimmerman: Granados Escenas Románticas – Epílogo

Ysaÿe/Kvitko: Piano Transcription of Solo Violin Sonata No. 3 “Ballade”

Reviews

Gary Lemco, Audiophile Audition:

About Haydn: “Kvitko casts the runs as elegant pearls from a necklace conceived in the most aristocratic terms, alternating between major and minor modes. When we recall that Haydn himself designated the piece Un piccolo divertimento, we can appreciate how aptly Kvitko’s quasi-improvisational realization of this deep emotionally graduated work suits his program. The last pages release the bravura element in bold strokes, the audacious chromatics in variegated colors.”

About Granados: “The music has Kvitko in thrall, with his keyboard in pulsing, potent sonority in musical figures whose equivalent must be the Goya works that we see in Spain’s Prometheus Unbound.”

About Ysaye: “So, even if we remain immune to the tropes in Boris Pasternak, the Ysaye transcription – and a fiendish display it is – the music becomes a sort of “Lara’s Theme” from Dr. Zhivago told in blazing arpeggios, leaps, and roulades that stretch to a tenth. The potency of expression achieves what Brahms wanted for the Bach Chaconne, which he rendered for the left hand alone.”

About the Trepak: “The Mussorgsky piece in transcription means to stand next to Liszt’s piano arrangement of Schubert’s Der Erlkoenig as a moment in keyboard dramaturgy. The Trepak offers masterful virtuosic application of skills, especially for the left hand. Quite a coup, especially taken in tandem with Kvitko’s audacious tribute to Ysaye and the bravura violin tradition of Paganini the Belgian master, intended to import into Flanders.”

HASKINS, American Record Guide:

Mr Vroon praised Sergei Kvitko’s performance of Moussorgsky’s Pictures, also on Blue Griffin (Nov/Dec 2008). This new release includes music inspired by improvisation or music that invites an improvisatory approach.

Kvitko’s approach—which emphasizes tonal brilliance and a kind of untroubled virtuosity— works best for the romantic works: the Romantic Scenes of Granados and two more arrangements: the Trepak from Moussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death and Ysaye’s third solo violin sonata. Great sound.

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