Xenia Zinoviev 2004

Xenia Zinoviev plays Bach, Mozart, Beethoven

Piano Concerto ¹19 F-dur, K.459
  1 Allegro 11’49”
  2 Allegretto 7’25”
  3 Allegro assai 8’28”

J.-S. Bach
  4 - 5 Prelude and Fugue in Fis-dur WTK, Bd.I 3’28”
  6 Fughetta in G-dur WTK, Bd.I 0’58”
  7 - 8 Prelude and Fugue in C-dur WTK, Bd.I 3’35”

  9 Sonata Nº6 in F-dur (P.I), op.10 Nº2 5’09”

  10 «Song without words» in fis-moll, op. 67 Nº2 2’19”

  11 Etude «By a creek» 2’14”

  12 «Campestre» («Tres Apunts») 1’53”
  13 «Urba» («Tres Apunts») 0’44”

  14 «Elegy» 5’18”

  15 «Wedding Day at Troldhaugen» 6’54”

Xenia Zinoviev, the 14-year-old pianist, was born in Munich, to the family of Alexander Zinoviev, the Russian writer who had become a legend a long time before her birth. In 1976 he published “The Yawning Heights”, a book that provoked a massive paradigm shift in the consciousness of those who lived in the late XX century, became a bestseller in 30 languages and resulted in the exile of the writer and his family from the USSR. Both of Xenia’s older sisters are artists. She grew up in a cosmopolitan atmosphere of a house where music, literature, art and history fused together harmoniously and served as common interests uniting the children and their parents.

Xenia has been playing piano ever since the age of 5. Her first teacher in Germany was Nelli Albrecht. After the family had moved to Russia in 1999, Andrew Djangvaladze, a meritorious follower of Heinrich Neuhaus.

As a soloist, Xenia took part in the German National Bela Bartok Festival, the French Saint-Riquier Festival, and also the Russian Europe-Asia Festival.

Over the time that has passed since 1996, the pianist has won 15 first prizes and grand prix at a number of international pianist competitions in Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy and Russia and taken part in live, radio and television performances in Berlin, Budapest, Dublin, Hamburg, Moscow, Munich and Paris.

Xenia is a young jury member of the “Europe-Asia” International Pianist Contest.

Her repertoire consists of oeuvres by J. S. Bach, L. van Beethoven, W. A. Mozart, E. Grieg, P. Tchaikovsky, F. Chopin, A. Scriabin, J.-F. Burgmuller, F. Mendelssohn, V. Kalinnikov, I. Bajic, A. Khachaturian, W. Oltra etc.

Mozart’s Concerto No. 19 for Piano and Orchestra occupies a special place among the 28 concertos that he had written. It doubtlessly ranks as one of his primary masterpieces, and this is by no means an exaggeration. It was dubbed “The Coronation Concerto”, likewise Concerto No. 26 D Dur, KV 537, since its first performance took place during the coronation festivities in the honour of Emperor Leopold II in Frankfurt am Main on 15 October 1790, although it had been written several years earlier. It has to be mentioned that this name stuck for reasons other than historical, since this is Mozart presenting us with the absolute epitome of the genre.

One would think that the main theme of the first movement should therefore be of a grandisonant nature, corresponding to the ostentatious nature of the event. However, Mozart’s theme isn’t quite a march in review, although it definitely is ceremonial to some extent; it is theatrical – hardly custom-designed for an official ceremony, in other words. It emphasizes a certain conventionality of the event, and therefore has a hue of succinct, implicit humour; this trait is rather characteristic for Mozart.

Despite the fact that there are two secondary parts in the first movement, they hardly contrast the primary part, supplementing it instead, albeit in a more refined and convoluted manner in case of the second part. The development begins to ring somewhat anxiously, since the main part is already transformed into various harmonic juxtapositions in the minor key. In theory, they should evolve dramatically and seriously – however, once the anxiety reaches its peak, Mozart dulcifies things and proceeds with the harmonizing reprise in F-Dur. What we hear in the reprise as complementary to the main parts is a brief but significant fragment of an unexpected philosophical message along the lines of “vanitas vanitatum, the crux is elsewhere”.

The second movement of the concerto reveals amazing depths of Mozart’s lyricism. Already in the rather elaborate introduction, which, in a way, contains the programme for the movement’s subsequent musical development, we hear an almost tragic transition in the middle. The part is written in a sonata form sans developments, exposing the intrinsic Mozartesque mood swings and atmospheric modulations. The mellow main theme in major suddenly transforms into the lucid melancholy of the secondary part, which is so emblematic for Mozart. This chiaroscuro, in turn, transmogrifies into the canonical lineation of the initial theme with iridescent timbre play of the orchestral woodwinds and the piano.

Certain researchers compare this music to the famous arias from his operas; one often hears that the themes inherent in operas affected the instrumental art of Mozart. I happen to be of the opinion that his instrumental opuses are more likely to have influenced his vocal music, and substantially so. The third part, written as a rondo sonata, can by rights be counted among the most vivid finales of Mozart’s concertos. It is truly amazing how Mozart managed to transform the ingenuous refrain theme into this amplitudinous and impressive an oeuvre.

He unleashes his humour completely in the finale; we hear scintillating themes and mockingly serious plethoric fugue-like constructions in the development. However, it is the cadence that one has to linger on specifically. Apart from the primary theme material, we can distinctly hear the clucking of hens at the end of the cadence, doubtlessly involved in some process that they consider important. One can only muse on what exactly Mozart was trying to express in this manner; however, one may draw a parallel with cerebral activity here, possibly of the emperor-to-be, or some other royalty. We cannot deny Mozart the familiarity with the dire consequences of their intellectualizing, especially in what concerned the appraisal of his art.

Excerpt from "Mozart's Concertos" by Professor Andrew Djangvaladze

The Moscow State Chamber Orchestra “The Seasons” conducted by Vladislav Bulakhov, a Merited Artist of the Russian Federation, enjoys national and international renown as a collective of young performers from the Moscow Conservatory and the Gnessin State Musical College whose average age is around 30. The collective celebrated its tenth anniversary this year. The repertoire range of the collective spans more than 300 musical oeuvres, from the Baroque masters to modern composers. The Seasons Orchestra took part in the “Russian Winter” and “The Talents of Russia” festivals, and organized the International Festival "The Seasons" in 2002 that takes place every year in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Sochi and Krasnodar.

W. A. Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 19 F-Dur was performed by Xenia Zinoviev and the The Seasons Orchestra in May 2004 in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, which had been the first time in about 10 years.