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Pasternak, Rachmaninoff and Ravel

Boris Pasternak, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Maurice Ravel




"Faliks’ [musical] scholarship added to her talent and skills as a pianist has helped create an outstanding CD for our musical enjoyment... Van Cliburn has been praised for his rendition of Rachmaninov’s original version of Piano Sonata No.2, but Faliks provides a potent bravura performance of that work on her CD as well."
Joel C. Thompson, Cherry Grove Music Review [August 2021]
"What's intriguing about the recording is Falik's prowess in rendering each piece with a keen combination of expressive acuity and textual clarity... Faliks plays [the Pasternak] with the same concentration and attention to detail that she applies to the Ravel - beautifully limned and paced... Intensely felt, her Rachmaninov abounds in poetic phrasing and finely gauged drama."
Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone [March 2010]
"[Inna Faliks is] a first class pianist."
Turok's Choice, Issue No.219 [March 2010]
"Inna Faliks...offer[s] the original version of the sonata. Just in case that was not enough to prove her technical mastery of the piano, she gives us a very respectable rendition of Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit. She also offers some previously unrecorded works of the Russian poet Boris Pasternak... The Pasternak is some- what interesting music ... It gets a persuasive performance and is certainly worth a listen or two. She is a powerful pianist, with technique to burn... she has a wonderful variety of tone colors at all dynamic levels. Her Ravel is reminiscent of Argerich —not quite there yet, but very close. The Rachmaninoff reminds me of the early Van Cliburn recording made in Russia, with a little more boldness and a little less finesse... she has all of the traits for a major international career."
American Record Guide [January/February 2010]
"Bearing the title 'Sound of Verse,' here is a CD containing a program intelligently planned, exceptionally well played, and superbly recorded... Faliks...more than proves her mettle in one of the most technically daunting pieces of piano music ever written. This disc is strongly recommended, not just for its imaginative and unusual program, but also for Faliks’s distinguished playing and for MSR’s excellent recording."
Jerry Dubins, Fanfare [January/February 2010]
“Poetry…A kind of panoramic vision.”
The Washington Post
“A delight to hear. Riveting…warmly poetic.”
The Baltimore Sun
“Faliks [played] with fervent thrust, bold inflection, lyrical warmth, seductive charm, and concentration.”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer

I have chosen the music on this CD because literature and poetry inspire me and often assist me in finding the kind of expression and colors I would like to communicate through music. Boris Pasternak’s music is inexorably linked to his poems. The strange dynamic contrasts between short phrases in the sonata seem erratic until one looks at them as if they are lines in a poem, lines with a rhythm and rhyme scheme. Boris Pasternak’s poetry moves me with its original, poignant imagery; each of his poems is a quest to connect to and to define the artistic process. This poet creates immediate and intimate contact with the reader/listener by opening and exploring his own soul — unapologetic, unsentimental and lyrical. The same immediacy and frankness permeates his youthful music. I include Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit because, as with the other works, I connect to its vivid poetic context. The sensuous Ondine, the hypnotic Le Gibet and the passionate, sad and quirky Scarbo are powerful poetic images that give life to this music. Rachmaninov ’s The Bells is one of my favorites choral- symphonic works of his. A translation of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem of the same name inspired Rachmaninov to create it. The original version of the Second Sonata, composed at the same time, exudes the same ominous colors, hypnotic luminosity, passion and pathos as the poem and the choral symphonic work, but ends with life-affirming exuberance. [Inna Faliks, May 2009]

Ukrainian-born American pianist Inna Faliks has established herself as one of the most communicative, committed and poetic artists of her generation, presenting commanding performances of standard repertoire, as well as genre-bending interdisciplinary projects and work with contemporary composers. Beginning with acclaimed debuts at the Gilmore Festival and with the Chicago Symphony, she has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Middle East in recital and as a soloist with orchestra under conductors such as Leonard Slatkin, Keith Lockhart and Eduardo Marturet.

Faliks has appeared on the world’s great stages, including Carnegie Hall, Salle Cortot, Chicago’s Symphony Center and Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow. She has recently given acclaimed performances at Ravinia, National Gallery of Art, Beijing National Performing Arts Theater and Shanghai Oriental Theater; with Camerata Pacifica and Bodytraffic dance troupe; and at the Fazioli Series in Italy and Tel Aviv Museum. Based in Los Angeles, Faliks regularly tours in Europe and Asia, and has been featured on radio and television broadcasts around the world. Notable festival performances include the Portland International Piano Festival, Festival Internacional de Piano in Mexico, Music in the Mountains, Peninsula Festival, Mondo Musica Cremona, International Keyboard Festival in New York, Bargemusic, and Brevard, Chautauqua, Newport and Verbier. A sought-after chamber musician, she has collaborated with Gilbert Kalish, Fred Sherry, Antonio Lysy and others, and is a founding member of the Hollywood Piano Trio, with violinist Roberto Cani and cellist Robert deMaine.

She is also the founder and curator of the Music/Words series, which combines musical performance with readings by distinguished poets, and has been seen in venues like LPR in New York and the Poetry Foundation in Chicago. She has co-starred with Downton Abbey’s Lesley Nicol in Admission – One Shilling, a play about the life of pianist Dame Myra Hess, and tours with her one-woman monologue-recital Polonaise Fantasie - The Story of a Pianist.

Always in dialogue with leading composers, Faliks has had works composed for her by Richard Danielpour, Timo Andres, Clarice Assad, and others. She is the winner of many competitions, including the Hilton Head International Piano Competition and International Pro Musicis Award. Faliks is an active recording artist, with a discography of five critically acclaimed albums. In demand as an artist-teacher, she frequently adjudicates competitions, gives master classes and takes up Artist Residencies in conservatories and universities around the world. A Yamaha Artist, Faliks is currently Professor of Piano and Head of Piano at UCLA. [ ]
Boris Pasternak (1890-1960)


Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
Ondine ~ Le Gibet ~ Scarbo

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
PIANO SONATA NO. 2 IN B-FLAT MINOR, OP. 36 (Original 1913 Version)
I. Allegro agitato
II. Non allegro - Lento
III. Allegro molto

MSR Classics