DIMITAR NENOV (1901-1953): Piano Concerto, Ballade No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 06S003
Reference: CDA 68205
Description: Concert pianist, composer, pedagogue and architecht who designed several public buildings in Bulgaria, Nenov’s family ties to an officer in the Czar’s army and his tacit refusal to write in socialist realist style after the Communist takeover led to many of his compositions and radio recordings of his performances being destroyed and his memory being largely lost after his early death. This very big concerto (1932-36), in a single-movement and lasting more than 42 minutes in this recording, is a heady stew seasoned with a mixture of late Romanticism and early modern trends (like the Russian constructivists and Scriabin)with dashes of Bulgarian folk melodies and which turns out to be a gigantic sonata-form construction masquerading as a three-movements-in-one structure. There was a 2001 Gega release of a 1979 Bulgarian Radio recording of this concerto but the 1943 Ballade may be a first recording. Also large in scale - 21 minutes is a long Ballalde - this is a more conservative piece steeped in the atmosphere of stylized Bulgarian folk dances. Ivo Varbanov (piano), Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Emil Tabakov.