Rathaus & Shostakovich, Piano Sonatas
Karol Rathaus - Dmitri Shostakovich

Rathaus & Shostakovich, Piano Sonatas

Vladimir Stoupel

Label: CAvi
Format: CD
Barcode: 4260085534814
Catalog number: AVI 8553481
Releasedate: 02-10-20

- The Sonata No. 3 by KAROL RATHAUS is a World Premiere Recording
- VLADIMIR STOUPEL is regarded as one of the most competent pianists of Russian music
- KAROL RATHAUS has grown up as one of the most promising Russian composers in the first half of the 20c. – Shostakovich and Rathaus are contemporaries with very different biographies

Contemporaries with diverend biographies

“Although Karol Rathaus (1895-1954) and Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) were contemporaries, they could hardly have led more different lives. Both biographies nevertheless exemplify the 20th century with its catastrophes, persecutions and destruction, and it is thus worthwhile to feature their music together in the same program.

Born into a Polish Jewish family in Ternopil (then part of Austria-Hungary), Karol Rathaus started composing at a very early age. He was accepted into the Vienna Academy for the Performing Arts and Music in 1913, but his studies were suddenly interrupted by the onset of World War I: for the next four years, he would have to serve in the Austrian army. As one of Franz Schreker’s favorite students, he followed Schreker to the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, where he passed the entrance exam with flying colors with his First Sonata for Piano in C Minor, op. 2 (1920). The Vienna publishing house Universal-Edition published the sonata and signed a ten-year contract with the young composer. This marked the beginning of the quasi-meteoric rise of Karol Rathaus, whom prominent German critics were starting to hail as “New Music’s greatest hope” (Walter Schrenk).………

In December 1926, 20-year-old Dmitri Shostakovich presented his 1st Piano Sonata, op. 12, to the public in Leningrad. Certain parallels with Rathaus’s 3rd Sonata are striking: driving momentum, rapid changes of mood, a complex and technically challenging piano texture, free tonality, and a bustling metropolitan mood. In Shostakovich’s sonata we additionally encounter a series of clusters along with a grotesque aspect….” (Excerpt from the liner notes by Vladimir Stoupel)


Russian-born pianist Vladimir Stoupel is an individualist with an extraordinarily rich tonal and emotional palette. The Washington Post praised his “protean range of expression” and Der Tagesspiegel described his performance as “enthralling and atmospherically dense.” His extraordinary technical
command allows him to explore the outermost limits of expression, mesmerizing audiences with his musical intensity.

As a soloist, Vladimir Stoupel has performed with many leading orchestras, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks.

He has been invited by international music festivals such as the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Piano en Valois (France), Bargemusic Festival (New York City), the Berliner Festwochen, Printemps des Arts in Monte Carlo and the Helsinki Festival, and performs in the world’s leading concert halls, such as Berliner Philharmonie, Konzerthaus Berlin, Konzerthaus Dortmund, Avery Fisher Hall, and National Gallery in Washington, D.C..

His extensive discography includes a highly acclaimed recording of the complete Scriabin Piano Sonatas on Audite, for which he received the Luxemburgian Excellentia Prize, among others. His recording of Henri Vieuxtemps’ works for viola and piano with Thomas Selditz was awarded the
coveted Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (The German Record Critics’ Award).