The virtuoso Stanislav Khristenko pairs Prokofiev's powerful 10 Pieces from Romeo and Juliet with his vibrant Op. 12 Pieces for Piano.
Sergei Prokofiev’s visceral romanticism is on display in music written for the ballet Romeo and Juliet. The composer’s own arrangement for piano matches his brilliant orchestration.
On October 4, 2019, Steinway & Sons releases a new album from concert pianist Stanislav Khristenko featuring music by Sergei Prokofiev. Two works by the Russian Soviet composer are included on the record (STNS 30114), beginning with Ten Pieces from Romeo and Juliet, Op. 75. The composition features selected music from Romeo and Juliet, a ballet by Prokofiev based on the Shakespeare play. Music from the ballet was excerpted by Prokofiev in three suites for orchestra and a solo piano work, which includes selections from Act One through Act Three. Prokofiev premiered Ten Pieces from Romeo and Juliet himself in 1937.
Ten Pieces for Piano, Op. 12 follows, featuring a diverse set of miniatures that each evoke a starkly different mood. Written during Prokofiev’s student years, hints of school assignments and future compositions can be seen in the varying works, as well as evidence of Neoclassical and other 18th-century tendencies. Notable pieces include the light opening movement, March, which showcases sharp rhythms and a melody that oscillates between F minor and F sharp minor. The proceeding Gavotte, Capriccio, and Allemande movements each offer early use of the Neoclassical style, while the Mazurka features a Medieval organum procedure with two harmonic parts, each moving in parallel fourths. Ten Pieces for Piano, Op. 12 foreshadows the styles and patterns that Prokofiev would employ in his later compositions.
“Khristenko’s playing offers suitably cool clarity; he articulates lines for melodic eloquence even when that melodic quality is not obvious, and maintains an admirable lightness of touch.”
“Khristenko is a pianist with a strong ability to sustain works that develop in a complex, organic way.”
“Prokofiev’s Op 12 and Op 75 complement each other well as a CD coupling, especially in Khristenko’s fine performances.”
“It is evident from the first few minutes of this new account [of Romeo and Juliet] by Khristenko that another superb choice is at hand. In a gentle number like “Juliet as a Young Girl,” he finds the requisite innocence in the sparkling runs, but there are sharp accents inserted on the fly that bespeak excellent control of touch.”
“Khristenko captures the essence of this infectious work [10 Pieces, Op. 12], again with superb dynamics and his ability to clarify textures... I highly recommend this disc to anyone interested in this splendid Prokofiev music.”
Prokofiev: Romeo And Juliet / Stanislav Khristenko • STNS 30114
Release Date: 10/04/2019
Recorded 2015 – 2017 at Steinway Hall, New York City.
Producer: Jon Feidner
Engineer: Lauren Sclafani
Assistant Engineer: Melody Nieun Hwang
Editing: Kazumi Umeda
Production Assistant: Renée Oakford
Mixing and Mastering: Daniel Shores
Executive Producers: Eric Feidner, Jon Feidner
Art Direction: Jackie Fugere
Design: Cover to Cover Design, Anilda Carrasquillo
Piano Technician: Lauren Sclafani
Piano: Steinway Model D #597590 (New York)
About the Artist
Stanislav Khristenko's performances have captivated audiences on four continents since his first solo recital at the age of 11 at the Kharkiv Philharmonic Hall in Ukraine. A “poet of piano” (Le Soir, Belgium), Mr. Khristenko has been praised for his emotional intensity, charismatic expression, “palette of touches”, “solid” and “precise” technique by The New York Times, The Washington Post and Miami Herald (USA); Gramophone and BBC Music (UK) and El Pais (Spain).
As a concert pianist, Stanislav Khristenko received prizes at over 30 international piano competitions including Cleveland International Piano Competition, Maria Canals International Piano Competition and Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition. His recordings have been released on Steinway & Sons, Naxos, Oehms, and Toccata Classics. Mr. Khristenko has appeared as a piano soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, Phoenix, Puerto Rico and Richmond Symphonies, National Orchestra of Belgium, Bilbao, Madrid and Tenerife Symphony Orchestras, Liege Royal Philharmonic, and Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. His performance highlights include solo recitals at Carnegie Hall, Vienna Konzerthaus, Palais de Beaux-Arts in Brussels, as well as performances with orchestras in the Berlin Philharmonie, Seoul Arts Center, Moscow Conservatory Great Hall and Hong Kong City Hall. Stanislav Khristenko is a Steinway Artist.
About Steinway & Sons label
The STEINWAY & SONS music label produces exceptional albums of solo piano music across all genres. The label — a division of STEINWAY & SONS, maker of the world’s finest pianos — is a perfect vessel for producing the finest quality recordings by some of the most talented pianists in the world.