Anna Gourari: Visions Fugitives

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Anna Gourari: Visions Fugitives
Prodigious pianist Anna Gourari brings her unique touch to Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev's twenty miniatures on Visions Fugitives. The series has infrequently been recorded in its entirety and rarely with the wit and elegance that Gourari brings to it.

She tiptoes gently on the nocturnesque "1.Lentamente," brings a lively spontaneity to the effervescent "11. Con vivacità" and a contemplative maturity to the expansive "8. Commodo ." She builds the musical ambiences of each movement often with unexpected and deceptively incongruent musical expressions. This tense yet integral approach to the essence of the composition makes for a refreshing and captivating listening experience.

For instance her rolling arpeggios build a strangely serene sense on the pastoral "9.Allegretto tranquillo" while she lets loose a fiery passion on"14. Feroce" without losing her sophisticated edge. Despite the angularity of her percussive chords "19. Presto agitatissimo e molto accentuate" retains its lyricism. In fact her hard-edged lines underscore the melodic core of the movement. Gourari uses sparse notes and silent pauses deftly as she concludes with the ethereal and haunting "20. Lento irrealmente"

Although "Visions fugitives, Op.22" lends its name to the title, two other, equally intriguing works are also included on the album and are quite complementary to Prokofiev's piece. There are only a handful of documentations on disc of Russian composer Nikolai Medtner's "Four Fairy Tales (Skazki), Op.26." English pianist Hamish Milne has been one of the most notable performers of the suite. Gourari interprets one, the No3 In F Minor, with sensitivity. She brings to it a warm melancholy and imbues it with a folk-ish romanticism.

Polish composer Frederic Chopin's "Piano Sonata No.3 In B Minor, Op.58" closes this stimulating record. Gourari's ardent reading of the first segment is expressive with reserved sentimentality. She uses very subtle dissonant tones to channel restless emotions but also plays with a lullaby like hypnotic lilt. Her unrestrained fervor builds a symphonic atmosphere on the second part that contrasts with the pensive, somber mood of the third. Her agile pianism brings a bright vibrancy to the final segment of this complex opus.

With each release Gourari's style matures and crystalizes without losing its idiosyncrasy. Her singular, almost improvisational, approach to various gems of the western Classical canon imbues them with refreshing innovation while remaining simultaneously deferential to their original creators.

Track Listing

Visions Fugitive, Op 22; Four Fairy Tales (Skazki), Op.26, No 3 in F minor; Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58.


Anna Gourari:piano.

Album information

Title: Visions Fugitives | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: ECM Records

Post a comment about this album



View events near Berlin
Jazz Near Berlin
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon


Read Light In The World
Light In The World
Nocturnal Four
Read A Time And A Place
A Time And A Place
Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language
Read Mayan Suite
Mayan Suite
Brian Andres
Read When You Find It
When You Find It
Arthur White and Merge
Read Rainbow Baby
Rainbow Baby
Cathlene Pineda
Read An Open Dialogue
An Open Dialogue
Linda Sikhakhane

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.