Valentin Silvestrov: Piano Sonatas

Following his acclaimed recording of Alfred Schnittke’s complete piano music, Simon Smith turns his attention to Schnittke’s near-contemporary, the Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov. Smith’s precision and technical agility make him the ideal choice for this first survey to focus on the 1970s – an important period in the formation of Silvestrov’s later style.

The Classical Sonata is an ostensibly Mozartian work in which nothing is quite as it seems, while its three numbered successors provide further glimpses into Silvestrov’s unique relationship with memory and the past. Concluding the disc, the short Nostalghia represents the mature Silvestrov, with its yearning melodic fragments and complex emotional undertow.

"Simon Smith's engagingly performed and atmospherically recorded recital offers a fascinating insight into the composer's development from the 1960s through to the 1980s."

"Simon Smith approaches the task with dedication and sensitivity"

"In Smith’s hands, this work captivates in both moment and span"

"Simon Smith has specialised in contemporary composers, mainly Scottish, and is in obvious sympathy with the idiom...The recording is clear and the resonance of the piano is beautifully caught...Silvestrov is worth getting to know and Delphian’s enterprise deserves support."

"Pianist Simon Smith has already recorded a brilliant Schnittke set for this label, and he's equally persuasive here: Silvestrov's longer paragraphs never sound discursive. Attractive cover art and sensational recorded sound too, with the Steinway's rich bass notes beautifully caught."

"Pianist Simon Smith...appears to have this music in his bones"


"Simon Smith is well tuned in to the music’s ambience."


Producer: Paul Baxter
Recording venue(s): Reid Concert Hall, University of Edinburgh
Recording dates: 12 December 2013, 10 May 2014 and 17 January 2015
Physical format: Jewel case
Number of discs: 1
Number of tracks: 17
Release date: 13 November 2015
Total playing time: 1:18:09
Album ID: DCD34151

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