Rachmaninoff: Dissonance / Grigorian, Geniušas
Shortlisted for the Gramophone Awards!
Following her triumphs on the stages of the Salzburg and Bayreuth festivals and at Covent Garden, Asmik Grigorian now belongs to the world’s vocal elite. She joins Alpha Classics for several projects and presents here her very first recital, devoted to one of her favorite composers, Sergei Rachmaninov. This album, titled Dissonance, assembles vocal works carefully chosen by the soprano for the contrasts they generate when grouped together: ‘Most of Rachmaninov’s songs really call for operatic power. In fact, he wrote mini-operas lasting a few minutes.’ While this album is called Dissonance, in reference to the ‘internal conflicts’ that punctuate these songs, the duo formed by the Lithuanian singer and her pianist compatriot Lukas Geniušas is one of total consonance!
"[Grigorian's] powers of expression are as fierce in front of the microphone as they are on the stage...Her tone at its fullest, all velvet-wrapped steel, gleams with enough edge to cut through anything a full-throttle Rachmaninov piano part can throw at it, and Geniušas does not give the impression of holding back[.] As a duet partner, he’s just soloistic enough, with an attentive ear for the detail of what Grigorian wants to achieve with the shape of a phrase.
"The program, in a sequence chosen by the performers, ranges from some of the Op. 4 songs Rachmaninov wrote as a student to his Op. 34. Some last barely 90 seconds, but here they still seem like a scene rather than merely a song – a panoramic view, not a snapshot. Grigorian and Genušias will make you wonder why you don’t hear them more often." -The Guardian
"There’s a palpable energy between the [performers] on this recording. [Grigorian] unfurls her otherworldly quality—what Barrie Kosky once called 'Planet Grigorian'—like a banner; [Geniušas] provides the breeze to hold it aloft. By no means are the songs on Dissonance calm or gentle, but Grigorian and Geniušas handle them lovingly." -Van Magazine
Release Date: March 11, 2022
Catalog Number: ALPHA796
Period: 20th Century
Composer: Sergei Rachmaninoff
Performer: Asmik Grigorian