Sofya Gulyak: Chaconne | Champs Hill Records CHRCD117

Sofya Gulyak: Chaconne


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Label: Champs Hill Records

Cat No: CHRCD117

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 2nd February 2018



Sofya Gulyak, the first ever woman to win the Leeds International Piano Competition in 2009, has returned to the Music Room at Champs Hill to record a second disc, exploring the fascination of the Baroque Chaconne, with its distinctive bassline (which repeats), for Romantic composers and beyond.

Ranging from Bach to Gubaidulina, it showcases her remarkable talent. Her debut album was described as ‘Stunning’ by Gramophone, with the Washington Post admiring her “tremendous precision and coloration ... exquisite soft playing ... with delicacy”

Beginning with the Busoni re-invention of Bach’s D minor Chaconne from his Second Partita for Solo Violin, Gulyak takes us on a music journey. The same Bach piece also influenced Nielsen’s Chaconne of 1916, and Casella’s Variations on a Chaconne of 1903, clearly shows his reverence for Bach. Busoni’s original work of 1920, Toccata: Prelude, Fantasy and Chaconne, is also included.

Handel’s Chaconne in G major followed by another famous transcription, or re-imagining, by Liszt which freely re-works the Sarabande and Chaconne from Handel’s Almira with late-Romantic sonorities.

Despite being an early work and less familiar, Gubaidulina’s Chaconne of 1962 is a powerful statement of the young female composer and closes this recital.

The winner of numerous international competitions, she has appeared as soloist with orchestras including the LPO, St Petersburg Philharmonic, RLPO, Hallé Orchestra and is demand at piano festivals. She is currently a professor of piano at the Royal College of Music in London.

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