"Songbird" by Maria Ioudenitch

Album cover for Songbird

Violinist Maria Ioudenitch's debut album, “Songbird,” is a journey through song, with a thoughtfully curated collection of arrangements, untouched renditions and songful instrumental works. Maria’s friend and musical collaborator, 2021 American Pianists Awards winner Kenny Broberg, proved the perfect partner for this acclaimed project.

Maria’s family immigrated from Russia to the U.S. when she was two, and she grew up in Kansas City. When she was three, her pianist parents, Stanislav and Tatiana, began her musical education with a tiny violin, “because there were just too many pianists in the house.”

After completing her Bachelor’s at the Curtis Institute of Music and her Master’s and Artist Diploma at New England Conservatory, she received first prizes in a number of competitions, including the Joachim International Competition. Much like the prize for winners of the American Pianists Awards, this led to her recording of a debut album.

The album includes works by eleven composers: Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn, Nadia Boulanger, Amy Beach, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Nikolai Medtner, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Mikhail Glinka, Franz Schubert and Richard Strauss. The recording also features Maria's first ever transcription of a work, Rachmaninoff's "Don't sing, my beauty, for me."

“Some of the pieces are arrangements, and others are untouched songs, where I just play the vocal line. The rest are not actual songs but they’re very lyrical and I thought they would fit beautifully into the program,” she explained on WFMT radio.

Those who follow closely the career of Kenny Broberg might have some familiarity with Maria’s last name. In an interview on Violin Podcast she explains, “Kenny is a former student of my father, actually. That’s how I know him. I’ve always admired and loved his playing, and I thought it would be a good match despite the fact we never played together before. If was a leap of faith when I asked him to record the album so I’m glad it worked out!”

Critics agree:

“Violinist Maria Ioudenitch has taken her love of the human voice as her inspiration. Playing on her 1691 Guarneri, in a rather resonant acoustic, the Russian-born American finds a beautifully golden, vocal quality in her playing that harks back to an earlier age. It makes the recording glow with warmth, matched by pianist Kenny Broberg’s sensitive partnership.” – BBC Music Magazine

Broberg’s playing has "a terrific sense of gusto and style.” – the arts fuse

"Nadia Boulanger's 'Soleils couchants' features delicate interplay between the brilliant pianist Kenneth Broberg's supple high-register accompaniment and Ioudenitch's eloquent phrases. It contrasts with the musicians' intense yet flexible interplay throughout Amy Beach's Romance, which provides the bridge into a section encompassing Russian Romantic transcriptions of works by Tchaikovsky, Medtner, Rachmaninov and Glinka. Here Ioudenitch and Broberg channel their strong soloist profiles to engaging conversational ends and stylish effect.

Schubert's Fantasie has been lucky on record, and this latest traversal does not disappoint. Broberg gives uncommon shape and direction to the first movement's rippling tremolos, which complement Ioudenitch's raptly sustained cantabiles. …. In the central variations based on Schubert's song 'Sei mir gegriisst', few contenders surpass Ioudenitch and Broberg for sheer virtuoso sheen, not to mention the clarity and focus of the violinist's dazzling pizzicato technique." - Gramophone



"Songbird" by Maria Ioudenitch with Kenny Broberg is a Warner Classics release.


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