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Alfred Schnittke was born on 24 November 1934 in Engels, on the Volga River, in the Soviet Union. His father was born in Frankfurt to a Jewish family of Russian origin who had moved to the USSR in 1926, and his mother was a Volga-German born in Russia. Schnittke began his musical education in 1946 in Vienna where his father, a journalist and translator, had been posted. In 1948 the family moved to Moscow, where Schnittke studied piano and received a diploma in choral conducting. From 1953 to 1958 he studied counterpoint and composition with Yevgeny Golubev and instrumentation with Nikolai Rakov at the Moscow Conservatory. Schnittke completed his postgraduate course in composition there in 1961 and joined the Union of Composers the same year. Many of Schnittke's works was inspired by Kremer and other prominent performers, including Yury Bashmet, Natalia Gutman, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Mstislav Rostropovich. Schnittke composed 9 symphonies, 6 concerti grossi, 4 violin concertos, 2 cello concertos, concertos for piano, a triple concerto for violin, viola and cello, 4 string quartets, other chamber music, 3 operas, ballet scores, choral and vocal works and by 1984 he had scored more than 60 films. Schnittke suffered a series of serious strokes and died, on 3 August 1998 in Hamburg.

Alexander Tchaikovsky, born 1946, studied until 1967 at the Music College of Moscow and from 1967 until 1975 at the Moscow Conservatory (piano under Heinrich Neuhaus and Lev Naumov, composition under Tichon Khrennikov). He won the highest award at the international forum of composers, Hollybash Festival, in the US (1985). In 1995, he was appointed leading composer at the Nova Scotia Festival in Canada and has been awarded - Peoples Artist of the Russian Federation. Professor Tchaikovsky is author of compositions in various genres, including 8 operas, 3 ballets, 4 symphonies, 2 piano concertos, concerto for two piano, 3 viola concertos, concerto for violin and viola, 2 violin concertos, concerto for cello, 2 oratories, chamber music and music to theatre and film productions. His music has been performed by such outstanding musicians such as M. Pletnyev, V. Gergiev, M. Jansons, Y. Bashmet, V. Tretyakov, D. Geringas, M. Gantvarg, E. Bronfman, and A. Slobodyanik. Mira Yevtich performed his music in 1991, 92, 99 and A. Tchaikovsky has dedicated his Sonata Op. 85 No. 2 to Mira Yevtich.

Baldassare Galuppi, with the byname Il Buranello, was born October 18, 1706 on the island of Burano, near Venice. Galuppi was taught by his father, a barber and violinist, and studied under A. Lotti in Venice. After producing two operas in collaboration with G.B. Pescetti (1728–29), he began composing operas for Venetian theatres. In 1741 he visited London and arranged a pasticcio, titled Alexander in Persia. Several of his own operas were produced in England, including Enrico (1743). In 1748 he became assistant concertmaster at San Marco Basilica in Venice and in 1762 concertmaster there. From 1766 to 1768 he was Chapel master to Catherine II in Russia, where he composed Ifigenia in Tauride, an opera seria. In 1768 he returned to Venice and resumed his duties at San Marco. Galuppi was one of the most prolific and widely performed opera composers of the period, and his works includes at least 100 operas composed between 1722 and 1773, comic as well as serious. Many of them (after 1749) were collaborations with the famous Venetian dramatist Carlo Goldoni. Of Galuppi’s comic operas, Il filosofo di campagna (1754) was the most popular. Beside operas, Galuppi wrote religious and instrumental works. He died in Venice January 3, 1784.

Joseph Haydn was born in Rohrau, 31 March 1732. He was trained as a choirboy and taken into the choir at St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna, where he sang from circa 1740 to circa 1750. He then worked as a freelance musician, playing the violin and keyboard instruments, accompanying for singing lessons given by the composer Porpora. In circa 1759 he was appointed music director to Count Morzin; but he soon moved, into service as Vice-Kapellmeister with one of the leading Hungarian families, the Esterházys, becoming full Kapellmeister in 1766.  He was widely revered and immensely prolific even some of his music remains unpublished and little known. His operas have never succeeded in holding the stage. But he is regarded, with some justice, as father of the symphony and the string quartet: he saw both genres from their beginnings to a high level of sophistication and artistic expression, even if he did not originate them. He brought to them new intellectual weight, and his closely argued style of development laid the foundations for the larger structures of Beethoven and later composers. After twice dictating his recollections and preparing a catalogue of his works, Haydn died 31 May 1809.

Johannes Brahms was born in Hamburg, 7 May 1833. He studied the piano from the age of seven and theory and composition (with Eduard Marxsen) from 13, gaining experience as an arranger for his father's light orchestra while absorbing the popular alla zingarese style associated with Hungarian folk music. In 1853, on a tour with the Hungarian violinist Reményi, he met Joseph Joachim and Liszt; Joachim, who became a lifelong friend, encouraged him to meet Robert Schumann. Brahms's artistic kinship with Robert Schumann and his profound romantic passion for Clara Schumann, 14 years his elder, never left him. Fundamentally reserved, Brahms was fond of taut forms in his music, though he used genre distinctions loosely. In the piano music, for example, the dividing lines between ballade and rhapsody, and capriccio and intermezzo, are vague. As in other media, his most important development technique in the piano music is variation, whether used independently (simple melodic alteration and thematic cross-reference) or to create a large integrated cycle in which successive variations contain their own thematic transformation (as in the Handel Variations). At Bad Ischl, his favourite summer resort, he composed a series of important chamber works. By 1890 he had resolved to stop composing but nevertheless produced, in 1891-94, some of his best instrumental pieces, inspired by the clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld. Soon after Clara Schumann's death in 1896 he died from cancer, aged 63.

The State Hermitage Orchestra was founded in 1989 by the outstanding conductor Professor Saulius Sondeckis, People’s Artist of USSR and State Prizes winner, The first name of the orchestra was St. Petersburg Camerata and the first members of this youngest professional company of the country, were students of the Leningrad Conservatoire. St. Petersburg Camerata soon became one of the best chamber orchestras in Russia. On February 14, 1994, it was granted the unique status of resident orchestra of the State Hermitage, or the State Hermitage Orchestra. The orchestra has performed in top concert halls in Russia and abroad about 2000 concerts and recorded more than 30 CDs, including those on the Sony Classical label. It has performed in the best domestic and foreign halls together with such prominent musicians as Yehudy Menuhin, Mstislav Rostropovich, Maxim Schostakovich, Vladimir Minin, Daniil Shafran, Nathalie Gutman, Ivan Monigetti, Vladimir Krainev, Valerii Afanasiev, Igor Oistrakh, Victor Tretiakov, Grigory Zhislin, Catia Ricciarelli, Dmitry Khvorostovsky, Lubov Kazarnovskaya, Nicolai Gedda and Elena Obraztsova.







Alfred Schnittke (DVD Edition only)
Concerto for Piano and Strings

Baldassare Galuppi (CD & DVD Edition)
Sonata in C Major

Allegro assai

Joseph Haydn

Sonata in C Major HOB XVI/48
Andante con expressione

Rondo presto

Johannes Brahms
Two Rhapsodies Op. 79
B minor
G minor

Alexander Tchaikovsky
Sonata Op. 85 No. 2






CD playing time 68:54
DVD playing time 1:24:31

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      MP3 sample from CD: B. Galuppi, track no. 3: Allegro assai
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MP3 sample from DVD: A. Schnittke, track no. 1

Mira Yevtich
, Piano Forte
State Hermitage Orchestra
Vladimir Fanshil Conductor

Digital Recording
CD Recorded in Moscow Radio Studio 1, May 2009
DVD Edition "Live" performance in St. Petersburg 27 May 2009
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