SHOSTAKOVICH & BRIDGEPiano Sonatas
Frank Bridge, Dmitri Shostakovich
SALLY PINKAS, piano
PROGRAM NOTESThe piano sonatas of Dmitri Shostakovich and Frank Bridge were created while the world was in turmoil.
After his evacuation from besieged Leningrad, Shostakovich seemed to be holding on to sanity through frenzied composing. He wrote his Piano Sonata quickly between the 7th and the 8th Symphonies, and premiered it himself in Moscow soon thereafter. In the late 1930s his avantgarde music had met with Stalinist disapproval, but by 1943 the Sonata’s Neo-classical clarity was beyond reproach. 20 years earlier Bridge was grappling with a changing world and growing dis-satisfied with his pleasing late-Romantic style. In the aftermath of the First World War he spent three years completing only one work, his Piano Sonata. It was premiered in London in 1925 by Dame Myra Hess. Passionate and complex, Bridge’s new music estranged him from both the onceadoring public and the musical establishment. There was no direct connection between Shostakovich and Bridge. In the 1960s Shostakovich met composer Benjamin Britten and the two remained life-long friends. Through this friendship Shostakovich may have come to know of Bridge, who was Britten’s composition teacher and mentor. In spite of their different circumstances, the two Sonatas comprising this album share their creators’ masterful handling of form and texture, and use of the iconographic Waltz and March. While both Shostakovich and Bridge composed other pieces which dealt more explicitly with loss, their Piano Sonatas, inscribed to the memory of friends lost to war, offer somber reflections on troubling times.
Following her London debut at Wigmore Hall, Israeli-born pianist Sally Pinkas has garnered universal acclaim for her performances as soloist and chamber musician. Among highlights are performances with the Boston Pops, the Aspen Philharmonia and New York’s Jupiter Symphony, at the festivals of Marlboro, Tanglewood and Rockport in the United States, Pontlevoy in France, Havana in Cuba and Ho Chi Minh Music Conservatory in Vietnam. From a first performance of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto in Bandung, Indonesia, to premieres of George Rochberg’s monumental Circles of Fire for two pianos in Russia and Nigeria, and a revival of rarely heard 19th-century Filipino Salon Music in its birth city Manila, Pinkas commands a wide repertoire and shares it enthusiastically with young pianists through master classes and workshops. Praised for her radiant tone and driving energy, Pinkas’ extensive discography includes music by Mozart, Schumann, Fauré, Debussy, Gaubert, Martinu, Rochberg, Shapero, Pinkham and Wolff for the MSR Classics, Musica Omnia, Centaur, Naxos, Toccata Classics, Arsis and Mode labels. She tours regularly with the Hirsch-Pinkas Duo (a collaboration with her husband pianist Evan Hirsch), with Ensemble Schumann and with the Adaskin String Trio. Other collaborators include the Apple Hill Quartet, Cuarteto Latinoamericano and the UK’s Villiers Quartet. Most recently she made her solo debut in Spain, returned to Brazil with the Hirsch-Pinkas Duo and to China on an extensive tour with Ensemble Schumann. Pinkas holds performance degrees from Indiana University and the New England Conservatory of Music, and a Doctorate in Composition from Brandeis University. Her piano teachers were Russell Sherman, George Sebok, Luise Vosgerchian, Ilona Vincze-Krausz and Genia Bar-Niv. She also studied composition under Sergiu Natra and chamber music under Robert Koff. Pianist-in-residence at the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College, Pinkas is Professor of Music at Dartmouth’s Music Department. [ www.sallypinkas.org ]
PROGRAMDMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
PIANO SONATA NO.2 IN B MINOR, OP.61 (1943)
III. Moderato (con moto)
FRANK BRIDGE (1879-1941)
PIANO SONATA, H.160 (1921-1924)
I. Lento ma non troppo – Andante ben moderato – Allegro energico
II. Andante ben moderato
III. Lento – Allegro non troppo
Recorded 2 June 2020 [1-3] and 12 January 2021 [4-6] at the Fraser Performance Studio, WGBH Radio, Boston, Massachusetts. Produced and engineered by Antonio Oliart Ros. Edited and mastered by Evan Hirsch.