Russian Piano Gems

Romantic to Avant-Garde

Elena Dorozhkina piano

Release Date: November 3, 2023
Catalog #: NV6576
Format: Digital
20th Century
Solo Instrumental

The Slavic conception of time in music is notoriously generous, exuberant even, often expressed by endless heartfelt melodies, which allude to a “broad yearning Russian soul.” RUSSIAN PIANO GEMS introduces listeners to the rich tapestry of Russian classical piano music with all the emotional grandeur it entails.

Renowned Russian-born, American pianist Elena Dorozhkina brings to life a selection of works by Mosolov, Glinka, Scriabin, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff with unwavering passion and technical virtuosity. Torrential cascades of thunderous chords alternate with lightning-fast runs, breathless silences intermingle with sweet vulnerability, exaltation and loss are but a hair’s breadth apart. The playing time of these individual pieces might not seem very Russian, but their emotional depth certainly is.


Hear the full album on YouTube

A fascinating recital ... Dorozhkina is a pianist I for one would like to encounter again.


Her debut disc reveals a remarkable talent ... a thoroughly successful and musically satisfying debut on disc.


Dorozhkina has a lovely expressive gift that allows her to find an intimate connection with the listener in every piece ... 


Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Sonata No. 4, Op. 11 (1925) Alexander Mosolov Elena Dorozhkina, piano 10:37
02 The Lark, piano transcription of a song (1864) Mikhail Glinka, Miliy Balakirev Elena Dorozhkina, piano 6:11
03 Etude, Op. 65 No. 3 (1912) Alexander Scriabin Elena Dorozhkina, piano 2:12
04 Prelude for Left Hand, C-sharp Minor, Op. 9 No.1 (1894) Alexander Scriabin Elena Dorozhkina, piano 3:05
05 Etude in C-sharp Minor, Op. 42 No. 5 (1903) Alexander Scriabin Elena Dorozhkina, piano 3:32
06 Dumka (Rumination) “Russian Rustic Scene”, Op. 59 (1886) Pyotr Tchaikovsky Elena Dorozhkina, piano 8:56
07 Morceau de fantaisie (Fantasy Piece) in G Minor (1899) Sergei Rachmaninov Elena Dorozhkina, piano 1:01
08 Prelude in G-sharp Minor, Op. 32 No. 12 (1910) Sergei Rachmaninov Elena Dorozhkina, piano 2:50
09 Elegie Op. 3 No. 1 in E-flat Minor from “Morceaux de fantaisie” (Fantasy Pieces) (1892) Sergei Rachmaninov Elena Dorozhkina, piano 6:16
10 Prelude in C Minor, op. 23 No. 7 (1901-1903) Sergei Rachmaninov Elena Dorozhkina, piano 2:45

Recorded November 9, 2022 at Allgood Media Services in Atlanta GA
Recording Session Producer and Engineer William Allgood
Mastering William Allgood

Additional Mastering Melanie Montgomery

Instrument and Piano Technician Gabriel Granitz

Steinway 9’ Concert Grand Piano, renovated by Gabriel Granitz

Liner Notes Elena V. Dorozhkina
Edited by Ellis Loyd, David D’Ambrosio, Karen Steinberg

Cover Photo Natalia Shmelva
Photo Editing Dasha Wagner

Executive Producer Bob Lord

A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Danielle Sullivan

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Kacie Brown

Artist Information

Elena Dorozhkina

Elena Dorozhkina


Russian-born, American pianist Elena Dorozhkina has captivated her audiences with an expressive warm tone, virtuosity, and passion in her playing. Genuinely committed to share emotions conveyed in music, Dorozhkina has performed solo and collaborative recitals at concert halls of the United States, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, and Ukraine. Dorozhkina’s 2022 Spivey Hall solo and collaborative recital performance was broadcast on The Atlanta Music Scene, WABE FM 90.1 radio. 


I believe classical music has a unique power to change a human’s soul to a more loving and compassionate one. Thus, I feel that my mission, as a piano performer, is to share the incredible art of the world’s classical music with people.

I have a special feeling for the music I included in this album. One may call it self-identification. Perhaps because I am Russian-born and received my initial music training from a world-famous Russian conservatory, this music is embedded in my DNA. It speaks deeply to my soul and I can feel the emotions conveyed in the pieces. I hope that through this music, I can express these emotions from my heart to your heart. Thank you for your attention to this beautiful music and my interpretation!

— Elena Dorozhkina

My heart is filled with gratitude to the people who made this album possible! Thank you, my devotees for your inspiration, encouragement, and generous support for my debut album’s release.

Anton S. Petrov, Nancy Hill Elton and John Elton, Fernando Ramos and Christine Chafardon, William Allgood, Dasha Wagner, Julia Soboleva, Natasha Shmeleva, Loren Dean Williams, Mavis Chen and Danny Lee, David Stanley, Karen Steinberg, Katherine Stafford Coombs and Charlie Coombs, Ellis Loyd, Diane Busard, Johann Westmaas, Dorothy Clark, David D’Ambrosio, Laura Gordy, Loren Williams, Bradley Fritz, Peggy Johnson, Priscilla Nguyen, Mengyun Li, Deepta Ghate, Alexandra Thim, Wayne Parker, Natalia Burak, Vicente Della Tonia, Addison Frei, Natasha Jacob, John Rea, Tien Nguyen, David Williams, Yvette Smith, Marsha Harps, Shutida Srikanchana, Mara Penatzer, Lilian Leong, Toku Kawata, Maire Lang, Matt Brower, Gary Sung, Everett Haagsma, Michelle De Witt, Michele Pallmer, Liz Macfie, and Paula Fagerberg.

— Elena Dorozhkina

Alexander Mosolov is one of the main representatives of the Russian musical Avant-Garde. Though he was one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century, the vast majority of his works are believed lost or otherwise unaccounted for.

Four of Mosolov’s five piano sonatas survive. His Sonata No. 4, Op. 11 is a rare piano gem, a less performed piece of the early 20th Century. Mosolov represented a virtuosic pianistic style reminiscent of Liszt, Rachmaninov, and Scriabin, though his musical language is different from the romantic. The sonata’s music is highly chromatic and dissonant, with aggressive machine-like rhythms, dense texture, and a wide range of extreme piano registers. In addition, some of the sonata’s sections are filled with a lyrical expression and melodic diatonic patterns evoking a soft lullaby with near-and-far heard bell-like sonorities. The sonata is written in a single movement.

My discovery of the Sonata:
About 20 years ago, when I was a piano student at the legendary Saint Petersburg Music Conservatory in Russia, I was accidentally given the score to Alexander Mosolov’s Sonata Op. 11 at the conservatory’s library. Amazed by the sonata’s unique musical language and its pianistic challenges, I fell in love with the piece from the moment I played the first phrase. I promised myself back then and was fortunate to achieve it recently to perform this sonata on stage. I aim to continue promoting this piece and, thus, include it in my debut album.

— Elena Dorozhkina

Mikhail Glinka is known as a founder of the Russian music school, composer, fine pianist, and singer. Miliy Balakirev was a virtuosic pianist, a folk song collector, a conductor, and a member of the Mighty-Five group of Russian composers. Balakirev is well-known for his piano piece Islamey: Oriental Fantasy, Op. 18. The Lark is his less-known piece; first written by Glinka in the tradition of a beautiful singing style of Italian bel canto for voice and piano accompaniment in 1840, it was then arranged into a beautiful virtuosic piano transcription by Balakirev in 1864.

— Elena Dorozhkina

A famous pianist and composer, Alexander Scriabin was also a philosopher and poet of the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Scriabin’s harmonic language and pianistic style are unique. Scriabin’s early works are characterized by a lyrical, romantic style and tonal language, influenced by Frederic Chopin. Later in his career, Scriabin developed a dissonant and finally atonal musical system, which is associated with his personal philosophical concept of mysticism.

Etude, Op. 65 No. 3 (1912) is a piece from Scriabin’s late atonal period, the last piece he wrote in the etude genre. The Etude is a study on an interval of the fifth.

Prelude for Left Hand, C-sharp Minor, Op. 9 No.1 (1894): In his early romantic period, Scriabin wrote two pieces for left hand alone, Prelude and Nocturne Op. 9. Even though Nocturne is written in a style of Chopin’s Nocturnes, Prelude conveys “Scriabin-like” flair.

Etude in C-sharp Minor, Op. 42 No. 5 (1903) is a well-known and often performed virtuosic piece from Scriabin’s middle, highly romantic period.

— Elena Dorozhkina

Dumka, translated as “a thought,” is originally a form of Slavic ballad or lament. One of the luminaries of the Russian school of romantic composition, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, composed his Dumka in a ballad-like style, where the first and last parts are slow with a contrasting middle part. Slow parts are infused with dark and hopeless feelings, while the middle section depicts a celebration of life in a style of Russian folk-like brisk dance. One may imagine or even hear some little “high-voiced” bells of Russian traditional winter horse carriage, which would ride in a snowy winter, and some “low-voiced” church bells sonorities, both “painted” in the middle section of the piece.

— Elena Dorozhkina

Josef Hoffman, the legendary pianist of the 20th century, once said about Sergei Rachmaninov: “His fingers were made of steel, though his heart was made of gold.” Besides being a brilliant pianist, conductor, and composer, Rachmaninov was a humble, kind, and generous person. During his immigration period, he constantly felt home-sick, and thus, his grief is reflected in many of his splendid compositions.

Morceau de fantaisie (Fantasy Piece) in G Minor, a piece without an opus number, is a beautiful unknown piano gem, rarely performed. I discovered the piece in a book of pieces edited by Joseph Banowetz, who was a piano professor at the University of North Texas, where I received my Doctor of Music degree.

Preludes Op. 32 No. 12 in G-sharp Minor (1910) and Op. 23 No. 7 in C Minor (1901-1903): The style of Rachmaninov’s preludes astounds with warm and expressive melodies, luxuriously rich textures, soulful and melancholy feelings, and virtuosic technique. In G-sharp Minor Prelude, one may imagine a picture of a boundless steppe and hear a sorrowful song soaring above a steppe, as well as little “high-voiced” bells dying away at the end of the piece. C Minor Prelude is full of bell-like sonorities; first, they are distant and melancholic, then near and raging.

Elegie Op. 3 No. 1 in E-flat Minor (1892): Brooding and dark, with lush harmonies and long, soaring melodic lines set above sweeping arpeggios, Elegie’s depict a high emotional expression. Elegie is one of the favorite pieces in the world’s piano repertoire.

— Elena Dorozhkina