Sunday, February 02, 2020

Introduce music books that Alexei Sultanov had used (1)

Русский перевод здесь.
I happened to get more than 10 music books that Alexei Sultanov had used. Those books were sent from Fort Worth. In this blog entry, I would love to introduce what kind of books he used, and what's the inside.
But before we start, I have heard from his brother Sergei Sultanov, that Alexei did not write to books so often. At the first glance, I understand that he was correct. And also, Alexei might have had several other books for the same works, and the actual writings were on other book. Anyway let's see them.
(Feb/03 Updated: After the conversation with Dace, it was found that the pencil writings on Chopin's score were done after he recorded on TELDEC. He listened to the master tape and made an instruction to the sound producer.)

Chopin: Etudes
Paderewski (Russian version). I believe that he bought it in Russia.
Looks like an old book, but surprisingly, no writings are found. What I found was the sticky-note on the page of "Revolutionary Etude", but still no writings are found. We all know that Alexei used to study many etudes with Popovich, so my conclusion is that this is not the exact book he used in Tashkent.

Chopin: Polonaises
Paderewski (English version). We can see "Thank you" written on the front page.
Compared to his another autograph, I believe that this "Thank you" was written by Alexei. Probably this is a message to the sound engineer at TELDEC.

No writings are found except "Heroic Polonaise". On the first page of the polonaise, there is a sticky-note and some advice are written. For example, the counting rhythm before the theme starts.
It was hard to understand for whom this message is for. We know that Popovich or Naumov had written in Russian. Did he take a masterclass in the US? Or, he may had a masterclass for students in the US. Probably the answer is that he listened to his own performance after the recording, and did some instruction to the sound engineer. But still, I feel a little bit strange. What do you think?

Most of the writings are only seen in the first page, but I found some more. Unfortunately, I cannot understand what that means.

Chopin: Scherzo
Paderewski (Russian version). On the front page, some English message is written. It's hard to read, but it may say he circled some bad points required to correct.

Scherzo No.1 starts with the message "Thank you very much. Very well done". I believe that this message was written by Alexei, and it might be for TELDEC engineers? Probably.

Scherzo No.2 also have some hand-writings. He made some comments about recordings or analog or digital, but I cannot read clearly. We can also understand that he considered pauses are important.

There are some detailed advice, but I could not understand what it means. 

Scherzo No.4 also includes writings. We can see plenty of "121" letters, but I actually do not understand what it means. Maybe count as "121" instead of "123"?
Another example

Chopin: Concertos
This book is very old, and does not have the front page, but it is Paderewski (Russian version).

 I believe that Alexei studied this concerto using this book when he was a student. There are several writings in Russian, and also musical terms in original languages. Clear hand-writings are seen, and I guess this was done by Popovich. We can see her advice, points to attention, and fingerings.

By the way, Alexei had a rumor that he was going to record both concertos. I was quite curious if there are any clue whether he studied No.1 or not.
Generally I could not assure that he studied this piece, but I found two writings in the work. Just only two.
The first one is on the beginning. "086" letters are written. But I really do not understand what it means (anybody?)

One more mark in red.

By the way, I have two concert books. The other one is from Moscow publisher and very old.

In this book, no hand-writings are seen. I guess that he needed two books to play concerto. There is only one page that I could find some writing. Maybe, Popovich happened to write to the opposite book than Alexei usually used.

Chopin: Ballads
Schirmer English edition. This book also has "Thank you" message on the front page, and also somebody wrote "You're welcome". Is the person the TELDEC engineer? Maybe.

We know that Alexei had played both of No.1 and No.4, but no writings is found in No.1. However, I found a very important issue from this score. On the final page of this ballade No.1, "Carl Tausig" version's coda is introduced which exactly matches how Alexei played in his concert in 1997. I believe that he might learn it from this book.

Ballade No.4 includes several hand-writings on the score.
On the first page, he mentioned that he circled some points that need to be corrected, and we can actually see those circles.

Here, I cannot read, but there is something.

Also I cannot understand what it means, but I think that circling the tone D with thumb is very Sultanov-like advice.

Mentions on tempo. (Well, did he really say about tempo to the engineer after he listened to the master tape?)

Some advice on coda.

Chopin: Piano Sonata No.3
Other than this sonata, most of the books I have are not including many writings, but this sonata is the exception. I think he used it when he studied this sonata for the first time.
This is not the book itself, but he created a binding.

On the 3rd movement, we can see some detailed instruction made by his teacher. Not sure if it was done by Popovich or Naumov.

Chopin: Nocturne Op.55 (autograph)
This also belonged to Alexei, and now at my place. I am not sure if he was interested in autograph. We know that he had not recorded Op.55, but he may be influenced by late Horowitz.

Here is the inside.

Thank you for reading.
I have some more to introduce other than Chopin. Please wait patiently.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Memorial Ceremony 2007

In Japan, faithful supporters of Alexei Sultanov hold an annual memorial ceremony for him. This year, we had that on Sept 2nd in Shibuya, Tokyo.

At the beginning of the party, we had a memorial cake for him, which Midori-san brought. This is fantastic!

As you can see, this cake express the gold medal of Van Cliburn piano competition.

We had a toast with oriental tea. (in Japanese, we say it as "Kanpai!")

Next, Yusuke played "The Star-Spangled Banner" to cerebrate Alexei! (Actually, he also played Chopin's Ballade No.4 with his very respect to Alexei)

Then one of the attendee sang "When you wish upon a star". It was so beautiful! We are sure that Alexei would also love that jazzy-arranged performance!

After the song, Kazuko-san's lovely daughter played "America the beautiful" in flute.

Finally we listened lots of Alexei's performance, and remembered his genius again!
It was such a great moment for us to share the memories. Each attendee has his or her original memory with Alexei.

One more thing, this is a Kazuko-san's masterpiece, a painting of Alexei and Dace. It is soooooooooooooooo beautiful!

After the ceremony, we went to Japanese bar(which is called as "Izakaya") and continulusly talked and talked and talked about Alexei...

Thank you very much for Alexei, Dace, Japanese fans and all the person who loves magic piano power of Alexei Sultanov!


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Alexei Sultanov on Chicago Tribune

If you have not had a chance to see this great article, take a look at the following web site and enjoy movies, phots, and articles. You can find lots of his movies and photos as well as many detailed description about his life.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The memory of Alexei Sultanov

Today, I happened to find another blog entry which is about Alexei Sultanov.!1pfecDroigdJgKvYzyxWqjjg!292.entry

This is written in German and unfortunately, I can not understand. I tried to use Altavista's translation service and almost understand now. It appears me that she mentioned about the conversation with her teacher.

She also create a photo page of him. Thank you very much.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

On Memory of Alexei Sultanov

I found on the internet that there is another blog page which is written both of Chinese and English.

There is a kind message for him. You can read it in English. Just please take a look at it. There are a lot of people who remember him.

Alexei Sultanov had passed away.

In this blog page, the author Yoshiko-san mentioned about this loss.

When she first met with Alexei, it was in Feburary, 1991. She was at a concert of him. She knew Mr.Sultanov because her respecting pianist, Pogorelich mentioned about Mr.Sultanov at some interview. Pogorelich started to hold a music festival since 1989, and one of the guest pianist at the first festival was Mr.Sultanov. Pogorelich praised Mr.Sultanov that his performance was great and the concert was successful.

Yoshiko-san remembers his performance of Beethoven's appasionata. He was just around 20 years old at that time, but he plyed it with exclusive energy. He was not a kind of big person, but his performance was overwhelming.

She continues her entry with introducing how Alexei got ill, worked on rehabilitation, and come back with playing with his right hand. She also mentioned about his wife's devotion, becoming a member of U.S. citizen, and "Live in Riga". She finished her entry with quoting Mrs.Sultanov's touching word "Never Give Up".


In this blog page, Chopiana-san wrote her impression on Mr.Sultanov.

It is her great sorry to lose this young pianist. She used to be a fan of him when he played at Chopin Competition. She tried to imitate his performance especially Chopin's Ballade No.4. It appeared her the piece was quite difficult to understand, but through his performance she felt the piece much closer.
Mr.Sultanov had good modern inspiration and his episode of taekwondo was very close to us. However, she thinks these modern inspiration and the style close to the audience could not be understood by juries of competition.
He was always her interest. She believed that he must be an good old master if he could live more...

This author thinks that she should play and practice the piano while she could play.

Alexei Sultanov has passed away.

In this diary page, the author hrkntr-san wrote this news with comparing some of the recordings of Rachmaninov's Piano concerto No.2 of London symphony orchestra.

The author says Rachmaninov's piano sonata is much better than piano concerto as he listened to Mr.Sultanov's recording. While listening to these discs, the author happened to look into Mr.Sultanov's condition and found that he had passed away just while ago. It was a real shock for him to know this sad news. The author just had an image for him that he is sort of a naughty boy. So this news, Mr.Sultanov fought against terrible illness for a long year and finally passed away at the age of 35, made the author shocked. He felt some strange fatality that this author happened to buy his CD on the day of his memorial ceremony, 5th June.
The author says that he could not still understand what Mr.Sultanov tried to express on his Rachmaninov's piano concerto, but he mentionted that he will try to listen again with serious ears.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


There is also an another blog entry in the following page.

Recently we often have a chance to see the pianist Izumi Tateno on Japanese medias. He is a pianist who also had stroke and had paralysis on his right hand, but came back as a pianist using his left hand. When this author hear about the news of Izumi Tateno, she can not help remembering the other pianist, of course Alexei Sultanov.

When she thinks about Alexei Sultanov, she first remember about Beethoven's Apaasionate Sonata which Mr.Sultanov played in Japan, 1996. At the final movement, she was so surprised because he started it in extremely fast tempo. She was wondering if Mr.Sultanov could reach the goal with starting such fast tempo, but he did without applying the brake. If she find the word something means for the performance, it must be "demoniac(in Japanese way)", but anyway it is the Sultanov's style.

The contrast was in his "Fantasie Impromptu" of Chopin. When a pianist play this piece, it is a big probrem for them which to choose the edition. But that was nothing to Mr.Sultanov because he made his own style, that is to say, choosing edition is not such important issue for him.
When he played this piece, the speed is not so fast, the sound is not so strong. Not so fast, not so strong, she thinks Chopin must be delighted with this interpretation. There are so many pianist in the world who played this piece, but this blog author said she loves Mr.Sultanov's.

At the Chopin competition in 1995, he got a second prize as the highest rank. She was in Warsaw at that time as an audience. It was her dream to be at Chopin Competition for these 10 years since she was a junior-high student. So that was a memorable trip for her, and Mr.Sultanov was the big memory of that.

She heard a recording of Rachmaninov's piano concerto No.2 performed by Alexei Sultanov, and always wanted to listen at a concert.

In the meantime, she happened to know Mr.Sultanov's illness four years ago.

It was her pleasure to know that Mr.Sultanov started playing the piano again with his right hand. It is a touching story that his wife plays his left hand part. And seeing the comeback of Izumi Tateno, she believed that Mr.Sultanov must come back to Japan in some day...


Mr.Sultanov is also mentioned in this blog.

This author, Matuszynska-san said Alexei Sultanov is not always her favorite for Chopin or Rachmaninov, but she knew that it is sure that Alexei Sultanov is a great pianist. In many ways, he is really sincerely a great musician.

Mr.Sultanov once had a stroke few years ago, and was in the middle of tough and intensive rehabilitation. It is a heart-wretching story for the author to imagine Mr.Sultanov's internal struggle which must be impossible to express in words. For a musician, performing music itself is equal to "living", like breathing, walking and laughing. This means that being unable to play, or losing the means of playing music is virtually an issue to losing some organs which need to have to live. So is that possible to fully recover from these situation?
It could be impossible to fully recover from this situation. It is sometimes very cruel to live in the real world. We must live on the earth while we have the life.

Mr.Sultanov attracts his audience with perfect technique and strong touch. He must want to play more, and live more. But everybody remeber his brave life with fighting against the hardest test in the world. It is also this author's bitterness to think about his wife and parents...

Favorite Chopin

This author, jumper-san mentioned about some recommendable recordings.

This entry recommends Mr.Sultanov's Nocturne No.13 of Chopin as it says we might have a nosebleed with excitement. This Nocturne is one of the track of "Fantasie Impromptu" which is a live recording of his tour in Japan. It is said that Nocturne No.2 is famous with excellent melody, but No.13 is also great. This author loves No.13 and tried to listened lots of recordings, and found the greatest one is Mr.Sultanov's performance. This performance is really extremely great!

The theme starts quietly, then the music changes like a choral in church. After the part, the variation of theme starts like a thunderstorm.

This author mentioned that Mr.Sultanov's performance is extremely great at this variation.

This author tried to practice this piece and finally played at a concert, although it could not be like Mr.Sultanov's performance.
At the end of this entry, the author finished his article with saying "There are lots of recordings of Nocturne, but the most recommendable one is Alexei Sultanov's".

bad news

This blog author also reported this bad news on his blog.

He had believed Mr.Sultanov's full recovery and coming back as a pianist. He recommended everybody especially who had never listened to his music should try the CD "Live in Riga". This CD is created by Japanese supporters of him.

May his soul rest in peace.


At this Japanese blog site, there is also a small entry for reporting this lost.

It was very surprising to know this sudden news that the pianist Alexei Sultanov had passed away on 30th, June.
Mr.Sultanov was not always this author's favorite, but the author appreciate his greatness and mentioned it is big sadness to lose these young and excellent pianist.

May his soul rest in peace.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Memories of Alexei

This is not a entry to introduce Japanese blog page. I found a new page on Alexei's official web page. As you can see in this page, a lot of people in the world are writing about their own memory of Alexei.

I myself have not still attended on this project, but I must write it soon. Please try to write your own memory to Dace, and share all the greatness of Alexei all over the world.

There are still a lot of entries who are very close to him, like Mr and Mrs. Wilcox, Beverly, Dr. Kramer, and so on. It is also a very good way to read it to understand Alexei Sultanov more.

I may add that 7th August is a birthday of Alexei. I hope he could have a very happy birthday up there.