At last, this recording project is born. A rather unique combination today, when two qualities of an artist meet - the composer and the performer.
The author plays his entire Piano Études Op.44 in addition to "Kreisleriana" - Schumann's poetic masterpiece, and "Toccata" by Busoni - composer's dark and concentrated work.
"Experiencing the composer and pianist Arsentiy Kharitonov playing his concert Études opus 44, one can imagine the great representatives of this genre of music listening wide-eyed, open-mouthed and spellbound.
Kharitonov’s Études are not only in the tradition of their great forerunners but are on a par with them. These are vivid contemporary works -- breathtaking, fiery and magical. A rather unique experience these days."
The CD offers its listener a combination of famous piano works by Bach–Siloti, Schubert, and Mussorgsky, as well as an original composition by Kharitonov. Schubert's intimate Moments Musicaux and Impromptu juxtapose the grand scale of Mussorgsky's famous Pictures and Exhibition. Kharitonov's playing captures the listener with its freshness, sincerity, and transcendental pianism.
My father’s piano music varies widely in character, and much of it makes heavy demands on the performer – demands not only for speed and accuracy of technique, but also for musical understanding in order that the often complex structure of the music be suitably illuminated. The two recent Toccata CDs of my father’s piano music by Arsentiy Kharitonov exhibit not only Kharitonov’s full technical mastery of the material, but also his deep understanding of it.
A number of my father’s early works from the 1910–1920 era are regarded as radical and highly innovative, while much of the rest of his music is often dismissed as less interesting and primarily neo-romantic in nature. That judgment, however, has been informed by little familiarity with the full spectrum of his later compositions in which the innovation is far more subtle than the often blatant dissonance of the earlier works.
Kharitonov’s first CD of my father’s music consisted of lyrical works that, for the most part, fitted comfortably within the bounds of the above image. The 4th Piano Sonata, which had been previously recorded by others, exposed Kharitonov’s prodigious technical ability, but nothing on that CD violated the neo-romantic myth. By contrast, the latest Kharitonov CD explores a set of seventeen waltzes, composed over a period of several decades, most of which have never before been heard in public. They manifest the full range of styles of his later years, and while some are indeed firmly rooted in the lyricism of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, others go well beyond that and delve into highly sophisticated complex rhythmic and harmonic material. It is the stunning contrasts that give Kharitonov’s recordings so much force as he invests each piece with its own individual character – no mean task given their enormous diversity and technical difficulty.
Rarely do I hear playing, especially of my father’s music, that sounds to me really “correct” – the way I think he himself would have played it. I had that experience listening to Marc-André Hamelin’s recording of my father’s 8th Piano Sonata. Kharitonov’s recordings seem equally right throughout, and I find that I simply cannot stop listening to the waltzes over and over again. This is no doubt in part because the musical material itself is so gripping, but it is also because Kharitonov’s tempos and phrasing fit the music so perfectly that nothing stands between the listener and the music itself.
Severo Ornstein 17 May 2013
... While some other contemporary composers who deliberately kept on the ‘safe’ route were sometimes let down by the quality of the musical invention itself or their ability to demonstrate real spontaneous development, Kahn’s chamber output isn’t similarly blighted...
Rather like wine, you really need a keen nose to sort the wheat from the chaff, and, once again Toccata Classics has come up with a winner in Robert Kahn, and his Three Violin Sonatas. If the first two don’t hook you straightaway, then the tremendous Third Sonata should finally reel you in, now, perhaps, an emerging Kahn aficionado. The playing and recording are absolutely first-rate.
Philip R Buttall MusicWeb International January 2015
Russian Triptych by Arsentiy Kharitonov was released Nov 09, 2016 on the Hartshorn Classical label. Truly an exceptional listening experience. Russian Triptych Not to be missed. Russian Triptych Maestro Kharitonov presents his New York Recital debut on this audiophile quality CD tuned to ProArte Standards at A-432Hz.