WORKS: Piano Sonata; Musical Toys; Introitus; Chaconne; Toccata-Troncata; Invention
PERFORMER: Béatrice Rauchs (piano), Kiev Chamber Players/Vladimir Kozhukhar
CATALOGUE NO: CD-853
Start at the end. The Introitus concerto, growing from quarter-tone trilling and swaying, dwells in the half-Asian, half-European world that made an impact for Gubaidulina as the Soviet years ended. It brings about a momentous, prayer-like reconciliation between instrumental groups. Half the disc is early work, quite confrontational and sometimes brutal. The Sonata explores sonorities inside and outside the piano, especially at the bass end, pitching introspective melody against syncopated thuds.
The only solo pieces to exert the same grip as her orchestral and quartet music are the Musical Toys. Written for children and playable by grown-up amateurs, more in the Debussy line than the Schumann, they make haunting and quirky character sketches. Béatrice Rauchs performs with energy and insistence. Robert Maycock