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Russian composer Nikita Koshkin turns 62 today. His most celebrated work is:

Koshkin, Nikita (1956-) [134 recordings]

Usher Waltz after The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe, Op. 29 (1984) [54 recordings]

It is dedicated to Vladislav Bláha, a guitarist from the Czech republic. Koshkin, wanting to write a concert-scale waltz, was inspired by his memory of reading Poe’s text when he was a young adolescent. The mood alternately goes from romantic to gloomy to violent, then using strong rasgueados and Bartok pizzicati but still ending in a whisper, shortly after some delicate harmonics.

I recommend Elena Papandreou’s beautiful version of this piece as recorded for the Bis label (CD-1236) in 2003. The whole CD is dedicated to Koshkin’s music.

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