This week's spotlight is on trailblazing accordionist Ksenija Sidorova, who at the age of six took up the instrument inspired by the leading lady in her life: her grandmother. Steeped in the folk tradition of accordion playing, Ksenija has taken the instrument to "revelatory" (The New York Times) heights—as comfortable sharing the stage with the world's greatest orchestras and performing in prestigious chamber music festivals as she is playing alongside Sting. Her breathtaking playing is inspired by music that, in turn, takes her own breath away—music that she has shared with us in a curated playlist for the latest installment of our Collective Listening Project.
ANTONÍN DVORÁK Songs My Mother Taught Me from Cigánské melodie ("Gypsy Songs"), Op. 55
Nemanja Radulović, violin and Laure Favre-Kahn, piano
The recording that always, absolutely always gives me chills! I love the tone with which Nemanja plays this piece, and Laure makes us listen to her piano on the edge of our seats!
SERGEI RACHMANINOV Barcarolle from Suite No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 5, "Fantaisie-tableaux"
Martha Argerich and Lilya Zilberstein, pianos
A live recording from the Lugano Festival (Switzerland), which left such an impact on me when I first heard it. The piece is gorgeous, and the way the two absolutely brilliant pianists interact and flow is unique!
ENRIQUE GRANADOS El amor y la muerte: Balada ("Love and death") from Goyescas, Op. 11
Alicia de Larrocha, piano
I love this recording of Alicia de Larrocha—it's like a movie, a mini-life in one work. A beautifully told story of love, passion, sincerity, darkness, and depth of feelings.
ASTOR PIAZZOLLA Las cuatro estaciones porteñas ("The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires")
Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica
1. Verano porteño (Buenos Aires Summer)
2. Otoño porteña (Buenos Aires Autumn)
3. Invierno porteño (Buenos Aires Winter)
4. Primavera porteña (Buenos Aires Spring)
One of my all-time favourite recordings of Piazzolla's Seasons! Needless to even make a comment on the ensemble here—it's like one person—they all have the same feeling and are always moving together in the same direction. I think Kremerata Baltica is such a unique ensemble, they must be completing each others' sentences! After hearing this recording, I am so in love with their interpretation of this incredible work!
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