Thursday, August 14, 2008

Baltimore Sun interview

The Baltimore Examiner interviews Wendy Warner and Irina prior to their upcoming recital of "Russian Romantics" in Baltimore

Critically acclaimed classical musicians, cellist Wendy Warner and pianist Irina Nuzova have an ongoing affair with the Russian Romantic composers and want to share the love with Baltimore audiences.

This Sunday in the intimate setting of An Die Musik, the duo will perform works by Sergei Rachmaninov, Nikolay Myaskovski, Alexander Scriabin, Sergei Prokoviev and Alfred Schnittke.

“I think the cello falls in perfectly with this kind of repertoire,” said Warner, who performs as a soloist with leading orchestras and conductors in Europe, Japan and the United States. “The music is so beautiful and lyrical, especially Rachmaninov, and I’m most comfortable playing it.”

Warner, who notes that the classical repertoire is rich with works written for piano and cello, particularly enjoys performing in a recital venue. Here, she feels a duo has more control, and subsequently more freedom, over the outcome of a particular piece.

Warner met her performing partner, pianist Irina Nuzova, a few years ago in New York when they got together to “read” music — that is, to study intensely classical pieces for piano and cello. This winner of the coveted Rostropovich cello competition in Paris knew instantly that she and Nuzova would click as a duo.

“The most important thing in any collaboration is both people learning from each other,” Nuzova said. “Wendy is a gifted cellist with a lot to say.”

In the case of Rachmaninov’s “Sonata in G Minor,” Nuzova feels that while she’s played the piece many times before, she and Warner are discovering a totally new piece playing together.

Irina Nuzova’s musical training began in her native Russia at Moscow’s Gnessin Academy. She subsequently completed her education in America at the Juilliard School. The duo’s CD recording of the Russian Romantics is scheduled for release in early 2009.

On Sunday the audience will receive a sampling of the works that also include Myaskovski’s “Sonata No. 2 in A minor” for cello and piano. This is, said Nuzova, “a special and beautiful piece in which [the composer] lost himself in the loneliness and romanticism of dealing with the social drama [of communist Russia].”