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“I want to hear more of Auerbachs Music” – A review by Jed Distler

In the “Classics Today Magazine” Jed Distler published the following review for Lera Auerbachs CD “24 Preludes for Violin & Piano Op. 46; T’filah (Prayer) for violin solo; Postlude for violin & piano" (BIS-1242):

Reference Recording: Born in Chelyabinsk in 1973, Lera Auerbach defected from the former Soviet Union to the United States while still in her teens, and she has since garnered much attention as both pianist and composer, notably in her recent work with Gidon Kremer. Written in 1999, Auerbach's 24 Preludes for Violin and Piano amply showcase her stylistic leanings and wide emotional range. Clearly, she's imbibed from the Shostakovich/Schnittke watering hole, as we hear in the frequent sparse textures in extreme registers, petulant dynamic shifts, obsessive pedal points, and caustic, folk-oriented tunes. Auerbach also has figured out what makes Astor Piazzolla tick, and manages to personalize his sultry harmonic idiom.

The most interesting moments occur when the composer's original voice pushes her influences out of the way, as in the sudden, unexpected violin cadenza that immediately follows Prelude No. 15's unrelenting dance. This leads to a threnody that gradually dematerializes into a high-register mist, and before you know it, Prelude No. 16 is over. The Postlude and solo violin piece also typify the ease with which Auerbach communicates her ideas. Vadim Gluzman and Angela Yoffe push their collective virtuosity sky-high. Such big playing requires the larger-than-life engineering BIS provides.

Not only do I want to hear more of Auerbach's music, but I also hope BIS plans to take advantage of her wonderful piano playing on future releases. Enthusiastically recommended.

(Jed Distler)