Sample Recital Program: The Poetry of Places

This program is performed in two versions: a recital featuring new piano (and toy piano) works inspired by diverse buildings, all written for Nadia Shpachenko’s project, or the mixed periods program featuring 19th, 20th, and 21st century compositions inspired by architecture.

21st century works on this program are featured on Shpachenko’s new March 2019 Reference Recordings release

The Poetry of Places

  • With the setting sun backlighting the backdrop of the skyline of lower Manhattan, Shpachenko delivered a pleasing concert of music written about architecture… Shpachenko’s playing matched the verve of the writing, and she was in tune with the subtle but substantial sensitivity in the music… The music was full of unexpected passion and turmoil… There was terrific, thrusting energy… Through Shpachenko’s fluid performance the piece was easily heard as absolute music, an exploration of how rhythms, phrases, dynamics, and excellent counterpoint all work together to make invisible structures…

    George Grella, New York Classical Review
  • The sextet of accomplished composers worked with solitary houses on lakeside islands, an anomalous monolith in Dhaka, the world’s oldest extant building, the complex interior of Aaron Copland’s home, and a unique art museum. How these composers conceived these structures in sound, whether giving them literal measurements or spiritual ideas – that was the challenge of this music, nearly all of it dedicated to Ms. Shpachenko herself. They couldn’t have chosen a more apt executant… Ms. Shpachenko played not only these six very different concepts, but she added a toy piano and – in a beautiful croon – her own voice… The result was something magical, a vision which transcended building and, like any art, put us in the mood… truly original… mysterious and touching…

    Harry Rolnick,
  • We’re living in a time of great stylistic plurality, a time when certain older systems of composing have lost the sway they once enjoyed and new ones haven’t quite arisen to take their place. Shpachenko helped show that — there are definitely styles that she didn’t have room to feature, but no two of the works she played take the same approach to melody, harmony, and form… It was a fitting reminder that masterworks do come out of this bubble and strife, and a subtle affirmation that some things being written now may well be touchstones of the repertoire in another ninety years.

    Brin Solomon, New Classic LA

(please scroll down for sneak peaks and full program information)

21st Century Program Overview

“The Poetry of Places” album trailer

19th Century Video Sample

Watch Nadia Shpachenko perform Anton Arensky’s
“The Fountain of Bakhchisaray”