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Spencer Klymyshyn & Ivelina Krasteva
Notes on the performers
Named by the Canadian Broadcast Corporation in 2020 as one of Canada’s 30 top classical musicians under 30, pianist Spencer Klymyshyn is known for his beautiful and nuanced sound. Spencer has won numerous awards and recognitions in national competitions. In 2019, Spencer was the national winner at the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals (FCMF) National Music Competition. He was also, in both 2017 and 2018, a national first place award winner at the Canadian Music Competition.
Spencer is a scholarship student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, UK, where he is working with Ronan O’Hora, Martin Roscoe and Charles Owen in pursuit of his Artist Masters in Performance. He is a graduate of the Schulich School of Music, McGill University, where he completed his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance with Distinction, studying with Dr. Ilya Poletaev. Spencer holds an ARCT in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Ivelina Krasteva was born in 1998 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. She started to play the piano at the age of 4. Two years later she got accepted in the National School of Music and Dance in Plovdiv, where she studied with Elena Velcheva until her graduation with distinction in 2017. Currently, Ivelina is acquiring her undergraduate degree studying as a HWE and WL Tovery Scholar with Ronan O’Hora and Katya Apekisheva at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
Pictures at an Exhibition
- The Promenade
- The Old Castle
- Bydlo: A Polish Ox -cart
- Ballet of the Little Chicks in their Shells
- Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle: sometimes called Two Polish Jews, One Rich, the Other Poor
- Baba Yaga – The Hut on Hen’s Legs
- The Great Gate of Kiev
Pictures at an Exhibition is a suite of ten pieces—plus a recurring, varied Promenade—composed for piano by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky in 1874. The suite is Mussorgsky’s most famous piano composition, and has become a showpiece for virtuoso pianists. The composition is based on pictures by the artist, architect, and designer Viktor Hartmann. It was probably in 1868 that Mussorgsky first met Hartmann, not long after the latter’s return to Russia from abroad. Both men were devoted to the cause of an intrinsically Russian art and quickly became friends. They likely met in the home of the influential critic vladimir Stasov, who followed both of their careers with interest. According to Stasov’s testimony, in 1868, Hartmann gave Mussorgsky two of the pictures that later formed the basis of Pictures at an Exhibition. Hartmann’s sudden death on 4 August 1873 from an aneurysm shook Mussorgsky along with others in Russia’s art world. The loss of the artist, aged only 39, plunged the composer into deep despair. Stasov helped to organize a memorial exhibition of over 400 Hartmann works in the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg in February and March 1874. Mussorgsky lent to the exhibition the two pictures Hartmann had given him, and viewed the show in person. Later in June, two-thirds of the way through composing his song cycle Sunless, Mussorgsky was inspired to compose Pictures at an Exhibition, quickly completing the score in three weeks (2–22 June 1874). The music depicts his tour of the exhibition, with each of the ten numbers of the suite serving as a musical illustration of an individual work by Hartmann.
Alexander Scriabin (1872 – 1915)
Piano Sonata No. 3 in F-sharp minor, Op.23
- Presto con fuoco
Scriabin had been married to a young pianist, Vera Ivanovna Isaakovich, in August 1897. Having given the first performance of his Piano Concerto at Odessa, Scriabin and his wife went to Paris, where he started to work on the new sonata. Scriabin is said to have called the finished work “Gothic”, evoking the impression of a ruined castle. Some years later however, he devised a different programme for this sonata entitled “States of the Soul” The Piano Sonata No. 3 in F-sharp minor, Op. 23, by Alexander Scriabin was composed between 1897 and 1898. The sonata consists of four movements: First movement, Drammàtico: The soul, free and wild, thrown into the whirlpool of suffering and strife. Second movement, Allegretto: Apparent momentary and illusory respite; tired from suffering the soul wants to forget, wants to sing and flourish, in spite of everything. But the light rhythm, the fragrant harmonies are just a cover through which gleams the restless and languishing soul. Third movement, Andante: A sea of feelings, tender and sorrowful: love, sorrow, vague desires, inexplicable thoughts, illusions of a delicate dream. Finale, Presto con fuoco: From the depth of being rises the fearsome voice of creative man whose victorious song resounds triumphantly. But too weak yet to reach the acme he plunges, temporarily defeated, into the abyss of non-being.