Visions

The Complete Works of Rhapsodies and Fantasias Constantine Caravassilis

2013
Centrediscs / Centredisques
CD-CMCCD 18613

Visions: The Complete Works of Rhapsodies and Fantasias Constantine Caravassilis

Intense and hypnotic soundscapes, charged with emotion and energy in a profoundly individual style – Constantine Caravassilis’ complete books of Rhapsodies and Fantasias could find no better interpreter than piano virtuoso Christina Petrowska Quilico, one of Canada's finest exponents of new music. Caravassilis’ diverse compositions draw inspiration from ancient Greek mythology and Byzantine music, while also reflecting his strong affinity for classical music ranging from the baroque to impressionism.


Fne interpretations
“Ms. Petrowska Quilico provides fine interpretations of these works. Her use of colour and pedal is penetrating and rich, and she imbues the phrasing of the gesture-pause-gesture-pause with enough variety to hold the works together and avoid mannerism.”

– Jon Gonder, State University of New York at Geneseo
  Canadian Association of Music Libraries Newsletter (caml.info.yorku.ca)
Excellently structured and orchestrated
“Formerly the composer’s private piano teacher, Petrowska Quilico not only studied thoroughly the great musical creations of her student, offering truly unique interpretations, but was able to give life to his multilayered inner universe in an incomparable way: deeply moved and inspired by this wonderful musical material, Petrowska Quilico was also able to express her inner thoughts on this music through painting.

“The style…orbits about 20th century and contemporary trends, but without forgetting Liszt, Grieg and Ravel. The stupendous result can be best described as the birth of a personal musical language, one that is clearly Caravassilis’ own.

“Everything about this recording is simply excellently structured and orchestrated.  Though this music might prove quite the obstacle for a younger pianist, it enables mature pianists (such as the composer’s former teacher in this recording) to showcase his immense talent.”

- Thomas Tamvakos, Jazz and Tzaz (www.jazzntzaz.gr)
Unexpectedly wonderful
“Visions is…an enormous double CD of great scope. The title is apt, as the music is visionary….  Listening to the CDs –and I continue to listen to them—I have to say CPQ is genuinely open, positive. Her playing is inspired on the CD, possibly because she was inspired: by the music. There’s much more one can say, about the music, the paintings she’s gone on to do in response… But I’d suggest you investigate Visions for yourself. It’s unexpectedly wonderful. I gave it a listen, and I am glad I said yes.”

– Leslie Barcza, Barzablog
Numinous beauty and sublime expressiveness
“Filled with numinous beauty and sublime expressiveness, these pieces embody the best things about piano music – its power to arouse, to placate, to beguile, suggest mystery, and express plainly what is hidden…. There is a palpable connection between the musician and the work that is quite attractive, and lends emotional gravitas to the performance…..Rapturous”

– Chris Morgan, Scene Magazine, London ON (www.scenemagazine.com)
Endless variety of moods, feelings, shifting drama
“…A meditative, minimalist mélange of Middle-Eastern/Mediterranean folk-song and dance motifs, composed partly in regional modes with flavours of traditional Greek and Turkish instruments coming out of the piano.   To my ear, it sounds like spiritual pianism, of the sort that came out of the collaboration of the Armenian mystic G.I. Gurdieff and his student, the pianist Thomas de Hartmann in the late 1920’s.... The music (of Visitations) is vivid, and the pianist’s technique so flexible, that she is able to lose herself in an almost endless variety of moods, feelings, shifting drama…”

– Stanley Fefferman, OpusOneReview (opusonereview.com)
A delicious listening experience
“As evidenced in each of her many releases on the Centrediscs label Christina Petrowska Quilico’s technique is blazingly virtuosic but never ‘showy’ and her interpretations are always deeply intelligent and sympathetic to her composers. ….Knowing his soloist well (she was his piano teacher), the composer has created music that highlights her skills and her performer’s personality very effectively. …The overall artistic mien of Petrowska Quilico’s work in this recording I would call sunny, as in ‘radiant’ and ‘brilliant’… Her technique can be immensely delicate but also very forceful while never betraying any sense of effort…  (Her) interpretation ensures a delicious listening experience.”

– Nic Gotham, The WholeNote (www.thewholenote.com)
Assured, vivid interpretations
“Because the music is tonal, it arrives unthreateningly, like a vaguely familiar face. One can discern a narrative, an emotional arc.  And we need to credit Quilico for assured, vivid interpretations that command attention. She inhabits this musical rhetoric like a natural storyteller.”

– John Terauds, Musical Toronto (www.musicaltoronto.org)
#1 of Experimental albums
#1 of Experimental albums on CJSW (Calgary), week ending April 1

- cjsw.com
#3 of Top 30 albums
#3 of Top 30 albums, on CKCU-FM (Ottawa) February 4-10, 2013

- www.ckcufm.com
112 minutes of timeless-sounding new music
"This entirely made-in-Toronto album offers 112 minutes of timeless-sounding new music for solo piano that offers something for many different kinds of listeners. Not only has composer Constantine Caravassilis - currently working on his PhD at University of Toronto - written some great pieces, but pianist Christina Petrowska-Quilico has brought each to life with a compelling force.

There are two CDs in Visions, each containing five pieces. One is a set of Rhapsodies that best showcase the composer's multi-layered imagination. The other disc contains five Fantasias that range more freely over the emotional landscape and have less clearly defined shapes. All of the pieces are tonal, but the combinations of intertwined melody, dialogue and harmony are Caravassilis' own. The pieces are confidently pianistic, allowing Petrowska-Quilico to approach every phrase - whether fantastically extroverted or contemplative - with impeccable pacing and elegant verve. Both the music and the interpretations impress more with each listen.

Favourite track: "Shadow Variations on a theme by Alan Hovhanness" shows off both composer and pianist as masters of their craft. The album gets a launch concert at Glenn Gould Studio on Tuesday night."

- John Terauds, The Toronto Star