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JANACEK, Leos

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JANACEK, Leos
Leos Janacek

Leos Janacek(Czech, 1854-1928). Janacek hit his stride late in life. After some fairly average, Dvorak-like pieces, he was 50 when his opera Jenufa, strongly influenced by Moravian folk music, became a success. Even then he had to wait a dozen or so years before he won an international reputation. After that there was no stopping the old boy. He wrote four operas including The Cunning Little Vixen, and also began a relationship with a woman 40 years his junior called Kamila Stösslová; there are some who believe that the second movement of his String Quartet No. 2, subtitled Intimate Letters after the correspondence between the unlikely pair, depicts the consummation of the relationship, real or imagined. Janacek was in his 70s when he wrote the quartet, so if it was real, there was clearly as much driving, bustling energy in the old man as there is in his music.


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RANKOVICH, Tatjana

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RANKOVICH, Tatjana
Tatjana Rankovich

Tatjana Rankovich was born in Belgrade, in the former Yugoslavia, where she won three first prizes in national competitions by the time she reached the age of 18. Coming to the United States the following year, she studied at the Julliard School, where she earned Bachelor's and master's Degrees and won the Judelson Award. Her teachers have included: Josef Raieff, Benjamin Kaplin, Zelma Bodzin, and Clifton Matthews. Ms. Rankovich has concertized throughout the United States, Europe and South America, winning awards at the Young Keyboard Artists International Competition and the Artists International Auditions. her frequent appearances as soloist with the Belgrade Radio Symphony have been broadcast live on radio and television. ms. Rankovich is currently on the faculties of the Mannes College of Music and the Dalcrzoe School of Music.

Although she is a gifted interpreter of the standard piano repertoire from Bach through Ravel, Ms. Rankovich has also become an enthusiastic advocate for American music, featuring little-known masterworks on her recital programs and recordings. She is the first pianist ever to play the Second and Third Piano concertos of Nicolas Flagello, recording them with the Slovak Philharmonic, Kosice, under the direction of David Amos. ms. Rankovich's performances and recordings of American music have received lavish praise. A "Fanfare" critic wrote, "more than simply and accomplished pianist, she is an intelligent artist, capable of bringing to life a work that has never been played before, and making it sound like an established masterpiece." These sentiments were echoed by Internet critic Steve Schwartz, who wrote, "The performances communicate marvelously. Rankovich strikes me as a thinking musician, rather than as a set of fingers." The American Record Guide found her performances of the Flagello concertos "thrilling," while the Scranton Times described them as "stimulating, technically adept and convincing."


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PHCD143 Creston/Flagello/Giannini AMERICAN PIANO WORKS


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