The names of Rachmaninov and Lokshin are peculiarly entwined through their life circumstances: Rachmaninov was forced to emigrate after the Bolsheviks coming to power, whereas Lokshin was defamed by the KGB and his works had not been performed until lately.

Alexander Lokshin (1920 – 1987) was born in Biysk (Western Siberia), in Russia. A student of a great Russian composer, Nikolay Myaskovsky and a great composer of his time, he was highly spoken of by Shostakovich. Tragically, he was not appreciated in his lifetime due to his lack of compromise with the Soviet regime. Ungrounded accusations amounted to slander, Lokshin was persecuted by the KGB his music being rejected by the censors. For decades, his name was in oblivion both in Russia and in the West.

Prelude and Theme with Variations for Piano were composed in 1982. The short piece is uniquely like a drop of water reflecting the whole world of the composer with all the distinguishing images and touch.

Unlike Lokshin, Rachmaninov’s early lapse in career did not undermine his further success. The composer has been known worldwide for his fundamentally Russian style and passion. Presented in this album Piano Sonata No. 1, which was originally themed after Goethe’s tragic play, Faust, is one of the woefully underperformed works of the master. Denis Burshtein, who was first introduced to public as young genius and has since grown into an accomplished musician, performs this piece with exceptional projection and understanding.

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