Sofya Gulyak: Chaconne
by J.S.Bach, Handel, Liszt, Busoni, Nielsen, Casella and Gubaidulina
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, 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”
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.
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