Ravel’s unknown, tender sonata fragment, Poulenc’s dramatic, sad violin sonata and Prokofiev’s dark sonata in F Minor. Guro Kleven Hagen and Marianna Shirinyan have chosen profound music for their first release together.
Ravel’s lost sonata
The album’s first piece derives from a sonata written by Ravel in 1897 at the age of 22 – the same age as Hagen – which was discarded and not rediscovered until 1975. In this movement many of the shifts and the poetic expression that became Ravel’s trademark are apparent.
Poulenc and Prokofiev
In 1942/43, while his country suffered from horrible war, Francis Poulenc wrote his only published violin sonata. The piece was dedicated to the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, who was killed in the Spanish Civil War. The subtitle of this slow movement, ‘La guitar fait pleurer les songes’ (The guitar makes the dreams cry), a line from one of Lorca’s poems, provides the title for the present release. Premiered by David Oistrakh in 1946, Sergei Prokofiev’s first violin sonata concludes the program. As with Poulenc’s sonata, this piece was written with the 2nd world war as a dramatic backdrop. Oistrakh himself is quoted as saying: ‘nothing written for violin for many years, here or anywhere else, has the beauty or depth to match this piece’.
Guro Kleven Hagen and Marianna Shirinyan
Guro Kleven Hagen, born 1994, hails from the mountainous Norwegian region of Valdres. She plays a C. Bergonzi, that has belonged to, among others, masters Fritz Kreisler and Itzhak Perlman. After her recording debut in 2014 Hagen has been a much-sought after soloist with orchestras in Europe and Asia. Moreover, she is a diligent chamber musician playing festivals both at home and abroad along with artists Janine Jansen, Leif Ove Andsnes, Maxim Rysanov and Shlomo Mintz. Hagen is also the artistic director of the chamber music festival Valdres Sommersymfoni, and has been picked for the prestigious Crescendo-programme.
Armenian-born Marianna Shirinyan is one of the most creative and in demand pianists on the European scene today. As a soloist, she is a mainstay with many of the largest festivals. She has received Danish Broadcasting Corporation’s renowned P2 award for her contribution to Danish music. Shirinyan is professor of the piano at the Norwegian Academy of Music, a Steinway artist and artistic director at the Fejoe Chamber Music Festival in Denmark.