Label: Chandos
Cat number: CHAN 20231
My contribution to this amazing production
Recording engineer

The ARC Ensemble (Artists of The Royal Conservatory) is among Canada’s most distinguished cultural ambassadors. It focuses on researching and recovering music suppressed under the totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century and marginalised thereafter.

Exile is generally associated with geographical displacement, but the idea of ‘internal exile’ has long had currency. There was a protracted variety of this exile in the Soviet Union: State oversight of musical style and substance began in the 1920s and persisted until well after Stalin’s death, in 1953. Unlike the Central European composers who were murdered or exiled under National Socialism, and whose music is now being assessed and revived, a great number of the musical casualties of the Soviet era still await serious attention.

The Ukrainian-Jewish composer Dmitri Klebanov was something of a prodigy but fell foul of the authorities with his first symphony, of 1945 (based, like Shostakovich’s Thirteenth, on the slaughter of Jews at Babi Yar). His professional rehabilitation began during the Khrushchev era when, in 1960, the Kharkiv Institute appointed him associate professor. In addition to the works recorded here, Klebanov’s legacy includes nine symphonies, two concertos each for violin and for cello, various works for violin and piano, several operas and ballets, around a hundred songs (most of which remain in manuscript), and nearly two dozen film scores.

Take a look & ear
Press & critics

★ ★ ★ ★

“… The other pieces may win your heart immediately; this one [String Quartet No. 5] will reward concentration. The ARC Ensemble is nearly flawless, and they play with a rich, romantic approach. The sound is excellent as well…”

Stephen Estep – American Record Guide – January/February 2022

★ ★ ★ ★

“… There’s real beauty on this disc, all beautifully played.”

Michael Schulman - – 6 December 2021

★ ★ ★ ★

“… Performances and recording are to the customary high standards of this series, while Simon Wynberg’s notes provide valuable perspective on a composer whose music, judging from that heard here, is worth further exploration …”

Richard Whitehouse – Gramophone – November 2021

The Strad Recommends

“… Excellent sound, evangelical performances and music that’s a thrill to discover (and, evidently, play)… “

Andrew Mellor – The Strad – November 2021

Performance ****      Recording *****

★ ★ ★ ★

“The Toronto-based ARC Ensemble appears to be going from strength to strength in their quest to bring to our attention a whole roster of composers whose careers were unjustly blighted by political suppression...To my mind, [the Fifth Quartet] is the strongest work in the programme, and suggests that there is an urgent need to hear more music by this prolific and fascinating composer.”

Erik Levi – BBC Music magazine – December 2021

Artistic Quality 9       Sound Quality 9

★ ★ ★ ★

“…The performances captured here make a wholly positive impression. The ARC Ensemble plays each piece with the kind of passionate conviction that its immediacy of expression demands. While the two string quartets show the evolution of Klebanov’s style most graphically, the Second Piano Trio is the major work here: thirty minutes of magnificently sustained musical discourse illuminated by captivating instrumental textures in this beautifully balanced interpretation. Chandos provides first-class engineering too. In sum, this is an excellent release in all respects, and if good, interesting chamber music is your thing, don’t hesitate for a moment.”

David Hurwitz – – October 2021

★ ★ ★ ★

“… Even if Klebanov’s music may be perceived as very striking and edgy in parts, ARC succeeds in enlivening the vocal sides and linear developments of the works as well, thus making the entire richness of the music resound. Thus, we owe another discovery to ARC’s activities.” *****

Uwe Krusch – – 24 October 2021

★ ★ ★ ★

“… Fine and fascinating works, superbly played, by a composer who should have much more recognition.”

Gary Higginson – – 21 September 2021