Artist: Marianna Prjevalskaya, Piano

Variations on a Theme of Chopin, Op.22
Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op.42

Label: Fanfare Cincinnati
Release Date: June 10, 2016
Total Playing Time: 50:58
Available on Amazon


This solo piano CD by Marianna Prjevalskaya features two variations by Sergei Rachmaninoff.  Having garnered first prizes in numerous of international competitions, Marianna shows her experience and mature artistry in her latest CD.  Being a pianist of Russian origin whose teachers include Boris Slutsky and Boris Berman, both well-known Russian pianists, Marianna showcases her affinity towards the music of Rachmaninoff.   

When one thinks of variations by Rachmaninoff, ‘Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini’ for piano and orchestra may come to mind.  The two solo piano variations presented in this CD may not be as popular as his piano concertos, but they are important works in the solo piano literature which are performed widely and studied in the conservatories.  Rachmaninoff, as always, sets the bar high for the performer with many technical challenges and musical demands.

‘Variations of a Theme Chopin’, Op. 22, composed in the early years of the 20th century, starts out majestically with an opening theme based on Chopin Prelude No. 20. This work is an ode to Frederic Chopin, whose works Rachmaninoff played and recorded.  ‘Variations on a Theme of Corelli’, Op. 42, composed in 1931, is made up of 20 variations and opens with the sentimental ‘La Folia’ theme that Corelli used to write the 23 variations in his Sonata, Op. 5 No. 12 for violin and continuo.

Marianna does an excellent job of bringing out the theme in both works as they develop and interweave throughout the variations.  Beautiful sonorities and harmonic effects through pedaling, fully defined and rich chords along with technical virtuosity, are all heard and embodied in her artistry.  Marianna Prjevalskaya meets the pianistic challenges required of these variations and executes them with ease and brilliance.  A fine recording by an artist of high caliber and great future prospects.