An ever-growing audience is becoming aware that the pianist and composer Lera Auerbach is a voice to be reckoned with. Championed by musicians such as Gidon Kremer, and recipient of numerous awards, this young Russian musician – now based in the USA – is represented on two BIS discs as a composer, BIS-CD-1242 and the just released 'Ballet for a lonely violinist', BIS-CD-1502. On the first of these can be found the 24 Preludes for violin and piano, which were greeted by one reviewer as a ‘modern masterpiece’ (Chicago Tribune), and earned its composer the following commendation in Gramophone: ‘Auerbach's music is put together with tremendous passion and imagination... the way she welds so many memorable moments into a convincing extended sequence shows a real composer at work’.
As a pianist, Lera Auerbach has appeared in some of the world’s most prestigious venues. On BIS she has also released a disc of piano pieces composed by great Russian cultural heroes such as Leo Tolstoy and Boris Pasternak. Here she combines these two roles, performing her own 24 Preludes for piano, as well as Ten Dreams, and Chorale, Fugue and Postlude. The Preludes – lasting from 42 seconds up to 5 minutes – are microcosms that come together like a jigsaw puzzle depicting a great musical landscape. Quoted in the liner notes Lera Auerbach herself describes how the structure of this many-facetted work grew organically – sometimes in directions which surprised even herself: ‘It is one of the most beautiful moments when the material one is using is transformed into another dimension. Then one explores unknown worlds, which nonetheless seem familiar, as though from a dream.’