Franz Haydn (1732-1809):
Sonata No. 47 in B Minor, Hob. XVI: 32
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897):
Aaron Copland (1900-1990):
Midsummer Nocturne (1947)
Frederic Chopin (1810-1849):
Sonata No.3 in B Minor, Op. 58
Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943):
Piano: Ruth Slenczynska
Producer: Michael Rolland Davis
Engineer: Ed Thompson
Recorded by: John M. Blaine
(DDD) Recorded April 8, 1984 in St. Louis, MO
Mastered using 20-Bit State-of-the-Art Technology - HDCD Encoded
Celebrating over seventy years on the concert stage, Ruth Slenczynska is one of the great piano legends of this century. Recorded in concert in St. Louis, Missouri on April 8, 1984, this disc features rarely heard works by Haydn and Copland, along with searing interpretations of Chopinís B minor Sonata and Brahmsí B minor Rhapsody. Her recital also features her authoritative performances of eight Rachmaninov preludes (Ms. Slenczynska studied with Rachmaninov!).
Yet another record by Ruth Slenczynska - this time a recital given at Christ Church Cathedral, St. Louis, Missouri, on April 8, 1984. The Haydn sonata is crisp and cleanly articulated, striking a nice balance between Brendel's Beethovenian weightiness and Gould's contrapuntal brittleness. The Brahms Rhapsody begins with thick, opening chords, impeccably played and given their full weight. In the Rachmaninoff preludes - notably Op. 23 No. 4 and 6 with their aching Slavic melancholy, Slenczynska's playing affected me as it has in the past.
American Record Guide, Aug. 1999
This disc comes from a concert given in St. Louis in 1994. And it turns out to be a potent experience indeed. For once past the pristine reading of the Haydn (a deceptively gracious overture to the disc), these are seething, high-conflict performances, notable for their urgency, for the often hard-bitten vehemence of their gestures, and for Slenczynska's striking ability to draw out the ominous undercurrents from secondary voices, especially in the left hand. Slenczynska has a rich tone, and she heightens contrasts not only by widening dynamics but by dramatically varying her colors and touch as well. Still, even at its most lyrical and hushed, there's a solidity to the playing that grips more than entices. No surprise, then, that the B-Minor-laden first half of this recital reaches its high point in her crushing performance of the finale of the Chopin Sonata. In sum, even with no-frills production, this would be a major release. With Ivory Classics - characteristic care - detailed notes, superior graphic design, and (of course) first-rate sound - it's nearly irresistible.
Fanfare Magazine, Jun. 1999
This 1984 recital from St. Louis is a godsend. Slenczynska is clearly a pianist who can do anything ó playing Haydn with a fine sense of coiled-spring power in reserve, Chopin's Sonata No.3 with many jewel-like details and several Rachmaninov preludes with a full romantic sweep but crystalline sense of dignity. Throughout, Slenczynska maintains a near-miraculous sense of line, giving the music a remarkable smoothness without making it unduly suave.
USA Today, Apr. 1999
Ivory Classics has a new, previously unissued 1984 live recital that shows Ms. Slenczynska's art to have grown even more vivid than her first release. This coherent, compelling recital features her in one of Haydn's best sonatas, Chopin's third sonata, and Brahms, Op. 79 Rhapsody, as well as Copland's little 'Midsummer Nocturne', and eight Rachmaninov preludes. The liner notes for this are outstanding as well. The budding Ivory label specializes in piano music, both reissues and new recordings.
Billboard Magazine, Jan. 1999