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Pianist Marina Baranova looks at Christmas through the eyes of an outsider. "I was born into a Jewish family in Ukraine and am the great-granddaughter of a rabbi. So I've never celebrated Christmas before, which allows me to look at it from the outside." On her new album "White Letters" she makes her experiences audible. "This album reflects those sensations." In her unique musicality, which combines light-fingered virtuosity with compositional sensitivity, she creates a world between Christian melodies, Ukrainian winter tunes and Jewish festival of lights sounds. All works oscillate between original, sensitive arrangement and free improvisation. "My recording somewhat resembles a playlist that makes my personal perception of the winter mood audible. Famous Christmas pieces from the classical period meet my own compositions, works by Ukrainian composers meet pieces by Jewish tone poets such as Ernest Bloch, Rosy Wertheim and Grigory Frid, which symbolize the Hanukkah festival of lights for me," says the composer and pianist, who was born in Kharkiv and now lives in Hanover. The bandwidth of the album's works cuts a wide swath: from Bach-ian borrowings combined with "There's Always Tomorrow" by Jewish composer Johnny Marks to the originally Ukrainian (and now world-famous) Christmas carol "Carol of the Bells" to her own compositions, such as "Homeland," which she dedicates to her hometown.
Pianist Marina Baranova looks at Christmas through the eyes of an outsider. "I was born into a Jewish family in Ukraine and am the great-granddaughter of a rabbi. So I've never celebrated Christmas before, which allows me to look at it from the outside." On her new album "White Letters" she makes her experiences audible. "This album reflects those sensations." In her unique musicality, which combines light-fingered virtuosity with compositional sensitivity, she creates a world between Christian melodies, Ukrainian winter tunes and Jewish festival of lights sounds. All works oscillate between original, sensitive arrangement and free improvisation. "My recording somewhat resembles a playlist that makes my personal perception of the winter mood audible. Famous Christmas pieces from the classical period meet my own compositions, works by Ukrainian composers meet pieces by Jewish tone poets such as Ernest Bloch, Rosy Wertheim and Grigory Frid, which symbolize the Hanukkah festival of lights for me," says the composer and pianist, who was born in Kharkiv and now lives in Hanover. The bandwidth of the album's works cuts a wide swath: from Bach-ian borrowings combined with "There's Always Tomorrow" by Jewish composer Johnny Marks to the originally Ukrainian (and now world-famous) Christmas carol "Carol of the Bells" to her own compositions, such as "Homeland," which she dedicates to her hometown.
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Pianist Marina Baranova looks at Christmas through the eyes of an outsider. "I was born into a Jewish family in Ukraine and am the great-granddaughter of a rabbi. So I've never celebrated Christmas before, which allows me to look at it from the outside." On her new album "White Letters" she makes her experiences audible. "This album reflects those sensations." In her unique musicality, which combines light-fingered virtuosity with compositional sensitivity, she creates a world between Christian melodies, Ukrainian winter tunes and Jewish festival of lights sounds. All works oscillate between original, sensitive arrangement and free improvisation. "My recording somewhat resembles a playlist that makes my personal perception of the winter mood audible. Famous Christmas pieces from the classical period meet my own compositions, works by Ukrainian composers meet pieces by Jewish tone poets such as Ernest Bloch, Rosy Wertheim and Grigory Frid, which symbolize the Hanukkah festival of lights for me," says the composer and pianist, who was born in Kharkiv and now lives in Hanover. The bandwidth of the album's works cuts a wide swath: from Bach-ian borrowings combined with "There's Always Tomorrow" by Jewish composer Johnny Marks to the originally Ukrainian (and now world-famous) Christmas carol "Carol of the Bells" to her own compositions, such as "Homeland," which she dedicates to her hometown.
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