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A review for Lera Auerbach in Strings Magazine

James Reel wrote the following review for the new BIS-CD in STRING MAGAZINE 1/04:

Auerbach: Twenty-Four Preludes for Violin and Piano, Op. 46; T'filah (Prayer); Postlude. Vadim Gluzman, violin; Angela Yoffe, piano. (Bis, 1242)

"Lera Auerbach, born in the Ural Mountains in 1973, has the makings of an international cultural celebrity. She's reportedly a remarkable pianist and an award-winning Russian poet and prose writer. From the evidence of this CD, she is also quite attractive (helpful to the marketers) and, most importantly, a compelling, accessible composer. Think Shostakovich stripped of his studied banality and given a thin varnish of Schnittke. Auerbach can make even C major sound spooky.

Written in 1999, the Twenty-Four Preludes cycle through all the major and minor keys following the circle of fifths. These miniatures could be excerpted, but together they constitute a harrowing hour-long journey, mainly at low dynamic levels. This is haunted, sometimes rather addled music, ranging from a fearsome little E-minor storm to an eerie cradlesong and a balalaika-like pizzicato movement. After some fearsome rumbling, the final bars are stark and barely audible. True closure comes only with the fillers, the cantorial T'filah and the tender Postlude.

Israeli violinist Vadim Gluzman and Latvian pianist Angela Yoffe, both about Auerbach's age, premiered the Preludes, which are dedicated to them. Gluzman and Yoffe leap the technical hurdles fearlessly, turning in dynamic, emotionally harrowing accounts of music that deserves to be on every violinist's CD shelf and music stand."