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Kaleidoscope - Fediurko, Fediurko

Kaleidoscope - Fediurko, Fediurko

Ars Produktion  ARS 38 757

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Chamber


Works by Skoryk, Saint-Saëns, Scarlatti, Kossenko, Albéniz, Schumann, Hofmann, Piazzolla, Grünfeld, Rewutzjkyj, Mendelssohn

Roman Fediurko, Oleksander Fediurko (pianos)

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Review by Adrian Quanjer - January 30, 2024

The independent label ARS Produktion may be small but their contribution to the world of music is respectable. In our field of interest, the Super Audio niche market, they belong to one of the best purveyors, with recordings covering a wide range from concerti to choral works, though in particular those of young talent, of which this latest release is a case in point.

Why do so many young musicians turn to Annette and Manfred Schumacher for debut (and follow-on) recordings? I think that the answer is threefold. Firstly, because ARS Produktion was established in 1992 to give “young, aspiring artists … an individual musical home and corresponding market opportunities”; Secondly, because ARS’s recording technique, especially in Super Audio, is of an enviably sought after level, and finally, because Manfred is not only a highly qualified sound engineer but also, having himself a thorough musical background, a coach with lots of patience and who is not satisfied until the result can face up to competitive market standards. How do I know? I’ve been present at one of his recording sessions. It was a memorable ‘ear’ opener.

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of reviewing numerous releases of largely unknown young musicians with talent knocking hopefully at the door of fame. It is no secret that for many the way up is not easy, and sometimes a matter of chance. Listening to these two Ukrainians, Roman and Oleksandr Fediurko, it crossed my mind that they could one day follow in the footsteps of the 10 and more years older Jussen Brothers from The Netherlands, having obtained a contract with Universal (Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft) opening doors to the great Concert Halls. Still, some way to go. Excellence and Perseverance is the key. Both qualifications seem to be present.

At the time of the recording, Oleksandr was only 12 years old and his elder brother just 18. Yet, performing a mixed programme of known and unknown, mostly Ukrainian, composers, they impressed me with their musical and technical command and, above all, their complicity in the pieces they played together: Melodie in a minor at the start and Jazz-Paraphrase at the end of the recital, written by the Ukrainian Myroslaw Skoryk, as well as Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango in an arrangement for four hands by Khatia & Gvantsa Buniatishvili. Difficult to know who was playing what.

I may add that Skoryk’s ‘Melodie’, no doubt based on a Ukrainian folk song, and now dubbed ‘Hymn of Peace’, has since February 2022 been performed at several places ‘in concert’, like in Birmingham (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra), Amsterdam (Violin solo with members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra), Paris (Gautier Capuçon, violoncello, Le concert de Paris), and elsewhere in different formats as a tribute to and in support of Ukraine following the Russian invasion.

Roman and Oleksandr’s individual contribution to the programme, allowed me, though only with the booklet at hand, to compare both. Interestingly, some of the technically more demanding pieces, like Saint-Saëns’s ‘Etude en forme de valse’, Schumann’s ‘Fantasiestücke’, and Mendelssohn’s ‘Rondo Capriccioso’ were assigned to the younger Oleksandr. But if one thinks that only he got all the difficult bits, listen to the dazzling performance of Josef Hoffmann’s ‘Charakterskizzen’ Op. 40/4 by Roman Fediurko. I found it hard to notice any difference between the two, which is a positive sign, as equal partners are a basic requirement for a successful duo.

I will not pretend that all the works here are unmissable, but some are not like a twelve-year-old playing three of Schumann’s Fantasiestücke Op. 12 with a commitment and an amazing sense of imaginative insight one usually associates with a confirmed soloist at least twice his age. It is tempting to speak of a ‘Wunderkind’, but such a qualification is often used in connection with ‘piano machines’ from the Far East. Oleksandr is from a different background, the same nursery that delivered such eminent pianists as Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels, Vladimir Horowitz, and more recently, Anna Fedorova.

With this release, the Fediurko Brothers deliver a visiting card that should not go unnoticed.

Blangy-le-Château, France.

Copyright © 2024 Adrian Quanjer and HRAudio.net

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