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"An Absolute Knockout"

Lera Auerbachs 24 Preludes (BIS CD)

The amazing resonance for Lera Auerbachs music, recording by BIS Stockholm, is unbroken. One commentator of the website writes:

One of the greatest services done by recordings is to create the possibility for new compositional voices to emerge relatively quickly and on an international scale. One example is Lera Auerbach, one of the last artists to defect to the U.S. from the former Soviet Union, whose music is just beginning to be heard. Chicago Tribune critic John von Rhein reviewed a recording of her 24 Preludes / T'filah / Postlude (BIS), and calls it "an absolute knockout." Here he gives some background to the prolific and strong-voiced composer: "Although she's only 30, she already has more than 60 compositions to her credit (including an opera written when she was only 12 and staged throughout the U.S.S.R.) and has had her music championed by Gidon Kremer, among others. This is the first commercial CD of her music...The 24 Preludes, written in 1999 and dedicated to the present performers, takes its formal cue from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, because it, too, is a major cycle of short pieces using all the major and minor tonalities. There are several ingenious aspects to it, beginning with the way each piece complete and satisfying unto itself evolves into the next to form a unified, mosaic-like structure nearly one hour long. This richly allusive music can be heard as a kind of opus summa of violin writing from the last several centuries. If you like Shostakovich and Schnittke, you'll like Auerbach; the former's dark, brooding intensity and the latter's sardonic irony loom large in her music. But her language is very much her own. She composes in big gestures that exploit extremes of dynamics, timbre, register, dissonance and consonance to powerfully dramatic effect... The husband-and-wife duo of Vadim Gluzman and Angela Yoffe, both of whom teach at Roosevelt University, dig into this modern masterpiece with hands, fists and hearts. Good, resonant recording. Recommended without hesitation."