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Theatrical Reminiscences

Love, lust and passion – betrayal and deception, masks and distorting mirrors: who says one has to go to the theatre for these? Long evenings during which one hardly knows what one will see anyway … It's a great deal more compact and passionate on the new GENUIN CD by the piano duo Chipak-Kushnir: after their highly praised debut with works of Brahms, they now scale the heights that mean the world with their instruments: transcriptions of Stravinsky's Petrushka, of Rigoletto, Faust and more and more – including several world premiere recordings! And all this without creaking theatre seats and coughing neighbours … Highly virtuoso and demonically sensuous, hellish and heavenly!

Johannes Brahms

Works for Piano Duo

You want to glance over the shoulder of a famous composer? The piano duo Olha Chipak und Oleksiy Kushnir makes it possible on their new GENUIN-CD: Johannes Brahms later changed his sonata for two pianos into the famous piano quintet. This sonata, more than just a preparatory work, is presented by the two pianists with all its passion in a virtuoso manner, so that strings aren’t missing at all – exactly like that the orchestra colors of the Haydn-Variations shine from 2 times 88 piano keys! The seldom played Variations on a Theme by Schumann eventually are a melancholic homage to a deceased friend of Schumann and Brahms.

„It all has to emerge from the piano, and what cannot emerge has to swing in the imagined orchestra of the audience. In this regard, the piano duo Olha Chipak und Oleksiy Kushnir (...) perfom extraordinarily. Above all, they play freely and individually, as you never hear it from always perfectly syntonic piano duos. Still, Chipak and Kushnir sound like one big piano. Magnificent.“
Süddeutsche Zeitung 30.03.2011

„The musicians from the Ukraine, graduated in Rostock and showered with prices, shift masterfully between chamber music concentration and orchestral opulence, as you can feel it in the Haydn- and Schumann-Variations.“
Leipziger Volkszeitung 13.05.2011

Piano Duo - Olha Chipak & Oleksiy Kushnir

Johannes Brahms, Max Reger & Sergei Rachmaninov

The first CD of the piano duo Olha Chipak & Oleksiy Kushnir contains works by Johannes Brahms, Max Reger and Sergei Rachmaninov.

“Variations on a Theme by Haydn, op.56b” is a tribute to love from Brahms to classical art. Its topic is the pilgrim’s song, “St. Anthony Chorale”, which became known as second part of Haydn’s composed divertissement for winds. The eight Variations are like eight profound pictures, in which Brahms shows the abundance of his romantic feelings. The cycle is crowned by the finale in the form of a passacaglia with coda; the thereby achieved monumental completion is equal to the majestic finale of Brahms' Fourth Symphony.

Max Reger combines the Romantic with the New Era and simultaneously picks up polyphonic forms and baroque composing techniques. In his opera “Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Beethoven, Op.86” every Variation becomes a separate piece of music, with distinct genre, type of development and temper – excited, elegie-like or solemn. And - as a great master of Fugue - Reger finishes the opus with a majestic Fugue.

Suite No.2 op.17 was created by Sergei Rachmaninov almost simultaneously with his famous 2nd piano concert. This two operas shed unrestrained intimate, lyrical feelings, which imbued the soul of the young musician. The suite, composed of four parts (introduction, waltz, romance and tarantella), is regarded as a brilliant concert piece, which impresses through magnificent sound and virtuoso    opulence and carries the Rachmaninov-like romantic interpretation of the piano.

The piano duo Olha Chipak & Oleksiy Kushnir enters deeply into the essence, the nature of the operas through its play and accomplishes with fatalistic energy and a lot of sensitivity a genuine opus of the present. In a dramaturgically skilful way they unleash rhythmical forces with the language of music and leave harmonic-rich impressions. With much artistic seriousness a panorama of fresh and vivid color and sound conversions and a individual musical language is created. Melodic inspirations push the audience in front and correspond with delicate tones. With good reason this piano duo has received various significant prices and awards for its brilliant variety during the past years. A pleasure for those who understand…

„Largely dimensioned cycles fit to the temper of the ukrainian piano duo, because they have the grandezza to give contours to such big operas. With clear linear forms and transparence of polyphony they follow “Variations on a Theme by Haydn” by J. Brahms, subtly they develop the Variations by Reger and aren’t startled by his monumental style. (…) With subtlety in unrestrained pathos of S. Rachmaninov his 2nd Suite trembles under their hands!”
PianoNews June/July 2009