Rhinegold Photo credit: G Henle Verlag
Evgeny Kissin's own compositions have been published by Henle

Josephine Miles

Kissin’s compositions published by Henle

11:14, 23rd September 2019

Evgeny Kissin’s own compositions have been published by G Henle Verlag music publishers

The Russian pianist has been writing music since early childhood. He returned to composition intensively a few years ago, having taken a break from it due to his international performing career.

Henle has initially published three works by Kissin: Four Piano Pieces (Op 1), comprising ‘Meditation’, ‘Dodecaphonic Tango’, ‘Intermezzo’ and ‘Toccata’; a single-movement cello sonata (Op 2) with fingerings and bowings by Steven Isserlis; and a string quartet (Op 3). The works are stylistically varied and include ideas and fragments from Kissin’s earlier compositions.

In an interview with Wolf-Dieter Seiffert, managing director of Henle, Kissin revealed more about his compositional pursuits:

‘I’ve had a natural desire to compose music since I was a little child. As soon as I learned how to read music, when I was about six years old, I started writing down my own compositions. I tried different styles and different instruments, which I learned about from reading books.

‘Then came a point when I stopped hearing my own music in my head. I didn’t know what to do next. That coincided with the time when my activities as a concert pianist began to increase, when I was about 15 years old. A few years ago, I began to feel an urge to compose again.

‘First I wrote the four pieces for solo piano. I had started to write the “Toccata” in 1986, but only wrote a few lines before I stopped. When I finished the four piano pieces, the composer Arvo Pärt gave me some valuable advice about ‘Meditation’, which was absolutely right. So I made some corrections.

‘I began to send my music to various musicians and performers. I asked them: “Please tell me honestly if you like it or not. I want to know.” Most people told me that they not only liked it, but would be happy to play it – and they did.

‘Steven Isserlis became very enthusiastic about my sonata for cello and piano. He played it several times in different countries. David Geringas too. And Gautier Capuçon played my cello sonata with Yuja Wang at the Verbier Festival.’

Evgeny Kissin’s Opp 1–3 are available from G Henle Verlag: henle.de/en/news/evgeny-kissin  

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