The Virtuoso Paperno: Paperno at 85 - A Retrospective
- CDR 3003
The longer Cedille Selects track excerpts are designed to provide a representative overview of the album
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Cedille Records' inaugural artist, Dmitry Paperno, a major Soviet-era pianist and one of the "last living musical giants" (Bloomsbury Review) of a golden age of Russian concert artists, is heard on this comprehensive retrospective playlist in honor of this 85th birthday. The first ten tracks, comprising sonatas by Scarlatti and etudes by Czerny and Moszkowki, were formerly owned by Moscow Radio (performances from 1972–73, a few years before Paperno emigrated to the US), and have never before been released in the West.
The remaining tracks come from each of his 7 Cedille CDs, released between 1989 and 2004:
- The first recording on the Cedille label, Dmitry Paperno Plays Russian Piano Music features some rarely displayed musical gems and "performances [that] convey the most affectionate conviction" (Stereo Review). Included on this retrospective are works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, and Medtner.
- From Paperno's second recording for Cedille, an all-German program acclaimed by Fanfare magazine for its "consistently lofty musicality," come two of Brahms's Seven Fantasies, Op. 116.
- On Uncommon Encores, Paperno offers a program of less-well-known piano miniatures that will "continue to reward [listeners'] attention well after flashier items have lost their appeal" (Fanfare). Heard on this playlist are works by Scarlatti, Hummel, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninov, Scriabin, Khachaturian, and Shchedrin.
- From Paperno Plays Chopin come a powerful reading of the Scherzo No. 1 in B minor plus two of Paperno's performances from the 1955 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw: stunning renditions of two of the Op. 10 Etudes. About this album, Classical Pulse! proclaimed, "[Paperno] does honor to the music."
- From Recordings of a Moscow Pianist come two of Liszt's most virtuosic works in performances Fanfare magazine praised for their "romantic keyboard acrobatics."
- Culled from live broadcast concerts for Chicago fine arts station WFMT-FM on Paperno Live are two of Liszt's Schubert song transcriptions and Tchaikovsky's only stand-alone piano piece (i.e., not part of a larger opus) in recordings Audiophile Audition recommended "for collectors of fine keyboard artistry."
- The playlist concludes with works by Rameau, Scarlatti, Schumann, Chopin/Liszt, and Scriabin from Paperno's final studio recording, originally released in honor of his 75th birthday. Of this CD, Fanfare magazine declared: "The first words that came to my mind after listening to these lovely miniature pieces were 'modest, unassuming, profound.' . . . Grab this CD, because you're not going to have these kinds of venerable masters around forever. Highly recommended."