“Every Bechstein concert grand piano is a wonderful and exciting discovery. Not only do they boast the precision and brilliance you’d expect from a contemporary instrument; they also have a distinctive sound character and a unique voice.”
Anna Zassimova received her education in her home town of Moscow, including at the renowned Gnessin Special Academy for Music. She has spent the last ten years living in Germany. In 2006 she completed her postgraduate studies in piano performance and chamber music with distinction, since which she has been lecturing in piano performance at the University of Music in Karlsruhe. Moreover, Zassimova is in demand throughout Europe as a concert pianist and chamber-musician, having featured as a guest at the Musica Viva Festival Munich, The Piano à Saint-Ursanne and the Herzogenberg Festival in Swiss, The Bloomsbury Festival London, UK, the International Chopin-Festival in Mariánské Lázně, the Heidelberg Spring Festival, the ECLAT Festival in Stuttgart, among others. Zassimova has released seven studio albums (by SWR/cpo, by Antes Edition). She has given the premières of numerous works, including Francisco Colasanto’s “Zero Kilometro” for piano and live electronics, which received the coveted Giga-Hertz Prize from Karlsruhe’s Centre for the Arts and Media Technology. In her fourth CD, produced in 2011 for the label Antes Edition, she performs works by Frédéric Chopin on an historic Èrard grand piano. In addition, Zassimova takes considerable interest in a wide range of little-known repertoire; her doctoral thesis on the life and work of the Franco-Russian composer Georgi Catoire was published in May 2011 by the Berlin publishing house Ernst Kuhn. Alongside her musical activities, Zassimova takes a keen interest in painting, devising concert programmes to complement the temporary exhibitions at the State Art Gallery in Karlsruhe.
“Every Bechstein concert grand piano is a wonderful and exciting discovery. Not only do they boast the precision and brilliance you’d expect from a contemporary instrument; they also have a distinctive sound character and a unique voice. Whenever I’m greeted by a Bechstein on stage, I just know it will be a pleasant and special experience.”
Anna Zassimova: Fantasiebilder aus Wien Melism
In this new double CD Anna Zassimova once again shows her flair for dramaturgy in designing her albums. The presented works by Clara and Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Franz Liszt and Leopold Godowsky intertwine wonderfully and tell not only of Vienna but of all great romantic emotions.
No work is overshadowed, Anna Zassimova makes full use of the tonal color palette of the C. Bechstein concert grand D282 to shape the lyrical cantilenas and tragic moments of this romantic repertoire. A wonderful CD that makes one nostalgic and want to travel back in time to past Vienna.
The album was recorded in August 2020 and April 2021 at the Eglise Evangélique Saint-Marcel in Paris.
Anna Zassimova and Christophe Sirodeau: Legends From The Bohemian Forest Melism
The Legends Op. 59 by Antonín Dvorák are, as Brahms aptly called them, full of inventiveness, richness of inspiration and atmosphere to a quite extraordinary degree. This cycle is combined on Anna Zassimovas new CD with the challenging Op. 68 Aus dem Böhmerwalde. This is done in an unusual way that tells a whole new story. Each piece of Aus dem Böhmerwalde is complemented by two matching legends, and a quite unusual listening experience is created.
This CD was recorded on a C. Bechstein concert grand D 282 at the Église Évangelique Saint-Marcel in Paris on the Melism label.
Anna Zassimova and Kyrill Rybakov play Brahms
According to the cover text of this CD, Brahms premiered his Fantasy Op. 116 in Berlin on 18 October 1892. If this is true (other sources mention other dates), the composer most likely performed that evening on a grand piano made by Carl Bechstein. One fact supporting this conjecture is that Brahms participated in the three-day inauguration of Berlin’s Bechstein Hall in October 1892, together with Hans von Bülow and Anton Rubinstein.
In January 2012, the Russian pianist Anna Zassimova recorded the above-mentioned fantasy on a C. Bechstein grand made in 1876. The vintage instrument gives a clear, light patina to her passionate yet heartfelt interpretation. This CD (Antes Edition, BM319285) also includes Brahms’s two sonatas for clarinet and piano. Kyrill Rybakov, Ms Zassimova’s partner for this recording, also plays a vintage instrument: a remake of the B flat clarinet “Baermann-Ottensteiner system” that Richard Mühlfeld used to premiere the Sonata Op. 120.