Enigma (2014)

Kreisler, Stravinsky, Hindemith, Vieuxtemps, Kugel, Penderecki, Bach

Dana Zemtsov

Most things there are to say about this CD, I tried to reveal as best as I could through music. However, I must warn the listener; here one will scarsely find lyrical melodies and heartwarming beauty with which music is so often associated. Instead, there will be tales of war, perplexed wanderings through obscured labyrinths, intense cries of despair, sour tears of sorrow, maybe at places an ironic grinn. 

In this collection of works, these very diverse pieces are bound by an atmospherical legacy that is codified by each composer in his own very individual language. The pieces included in this programme are written in an overwhelmingly sincere manner. Some pieces consist of such thick vital layers, that to start to decipher them is to set oneself a task for life. The more one digs into each piece the more the details seem to multiply and the more one has left to investigate.

Unlike other stringed instruments the viola repertoire hasn’t been as thoroughly explored, and a big part is thus left quite “intact”. Many wonderful violists arose since the beginning of the 20th century, starting the quest and stimulating composers to write for viola. As we are in this searching phase a tradition in the repertoire hasn’t quite been established yet. This gives our generation the luxurious liberty to read and explore practically freshly new music from different centuries.

I am extremely thankful, proud and honoured to be able to present my first contribution to this quest; my first step into the course of a lifelong exploration of the enigma of the musical language.

Dana Zemtsov

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Dana Zemtsov

Winner of numerous competitions and developing an outstanding career, Dana Zemtsov is one of the most promising international viola soloists of her generation. 

Dana Zemtsov was born in 1992 in Mexico City. She comes from a family of musicians. At the age of 5 she received her first music lessons from her grandmother and from her parents, both viola players, Mikhail Zemtsov and Julia Dinerstein. Since 2012 she studies with the famous viola virtuoso Michael Kugel. 

Highlights in the 2012 / 13 season include Dana’s performance of the Bartók Viola Concerto in the Great Hall of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, chamber music with Janine Jansen and Martin Frost during the Utrecht Chamber Music Festival and a recital in Carnegie Hall of New York. 

Dana is First Prize laureate of several competitions in Luxemburg, Italy, Austria, Germany, Portugal and the Netherlands. In 2010 she won the Dutch Television competition ‘Evening of the Young Musician’ becoming the ‘Young Musician of the Year’ and representing The Netherlands at the Eurovision Young Musicians Competition in Vienna. 


Dana is regularly appearing on the most important international stages including the Great and Small halls of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Doelen in Rotterdam, Dr. Anton Philips Hall in The Hague, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, The Opera Hall in Tel Aviv, Carnegie Hall of New York among others. During the Christmas Concert in the Philharmonie in Haarlem she was presented by and performed with the world famous pianist Boris Berezovsky. She has also been chamber music partner to among others Janine Jansen, Giovanni Sollima, Martin Frost and Ilya Gringolts. As a soloist, Dana performed with the Ukrainian National Philharmonic Orchestra (Ukraine) Holland Symfonia, Sweelink Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Rotterdam, (Holland) F. Busoni Chamber Orchestra (Italy). 

Dana toured Denmark, Peru, USA, and participated in the Stars of Tomorrow tour in Germany, together with the most promising young talents of Europe. She performed at the Delft Chamber Music Festival, Storioni Festival, Grachten Festival, the International Janine Jansen Chamber Music Festival Utrecht and Three Day Music Festival The Hague. She also performed in festivals in Germany, Italy and Britain. 

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Enigma (2014)

Kreisler, Stravinsky, Hindemith, Vieuxtemps, Kugel, Penderecki, Bach

Dana Zemtsov


There are points in Dana Zemtsov’s performance of Michael Kugel’s Sonata – Poème where her double stopping is so perfectly tuned, so varied in colour and with such considerable distances in the intervals between the notes that you would be forgiven for thinking it sounded more like a chamber orchestra or, at least, a string quartet than simply a single viola playing more than one note at once. (...) fascinating and excitingly varied programme (...) At the very least, this disc is a compilation of hidden gems; at the very best, a snapshot of a great artist at the start of her career.

    De Telegraaf

(...) Solostukken van Kreisler, Hindemith, Stravinsky en anderen profiteren volop van haar rijk doorvoede toon. De veroveringsdrang is om u tegen te zeggen. (...)

    Audiophile Audition

(...) up and coming sensation Dana Zemtsov has given us a fine album that never dulls, never bores, and shows just how rich the instrument really is—and all this without an accompanist. (...) surround sound is a perfect vehicle for solo instruments, and so the case is made here, with Channel’s superb engineering coming to the fore and manifesting Zemtsov’s amazing playing and beautiful tone with depth and luxuriant resonance. This is well worth the outlay, and I suspect that not a few people will come away with a new aural image of the viola ingrained in their minds.


(...) Dit is een rijke cd, qua diversiteit en kwaliteit van de altvioliste (...) elke track lijkt een poging de liusteraar te overtuigen van iets waar hij helemaal niet van overtuigd hoeft te worden, namelijk dat Dana Zemtsov een hele goede speler is. (...)


(...) Haar muzikale interpretatie is overtuigend met heldere expressie waarmee ze de altviool laat ronken in de laagte en schitteren in de hoogte. (...) een excellent exposée (...)

    Het Parool -

(...) De altviool komt op deze cd prachtig tot klinken. (...) Dana Zemtsov is begin twintig en staat nog maar aan het begin van haar carrière. Op deze debuutcd klinkt ze als een volbloed musicienne met ervaring. (...)

    SA-CD.net -

(...) the colour and range of expression that she elicits from her instrument is astonishing. (...) het warm and expressive cantilena is beautifully conveyed by the recording. (...) It need hardly be said that both the production and engineering of this 5.0 DSD recording from Jared Sacks is of the highest quality. (...) a remarkable successful first solo recital. (...)


Dana Zemtsov, nu al een grande dame op de altviool (...) wie zo kan excelleren in en zich zo hoorbaar op haar gemak voelt bij een repertoire dat reikt van Kreisler naar Hindemith, van Vieuxtemps naar Stravinsky en van Bach naar Penderecki en Kugel is een groot musicienne. (..) Met de architectuur in haar vertolkingen, de fraseringen zoals zij die boetseert, de spanningsbogen die ze laat uitwaaien, haar maatvoering, streektechniek en zuivere intonatie trekt ze ons moeiteloos mee haar wonderwereld in en houdt ons vast. (...) een grote muzikale persoonlijkheid (...) Chapeua, Dana Zemtsov! Chapeau, Channel Classics!

Enigma (2014)

Kreisler, Stravinsky, Hindemith, Vieuxtemps, Kugel, Penderecki, Bach

Dana Zemtsov

Cables: van den Hul
Digital Converters: Grimm DSD AD
Mastering Engineer: Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment: B&W 803 diamond series
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis custom made
Producer: Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks
Recording location: Deventer The Netherlands
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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35714: Enigma
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Recitativo Scherzo
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Sonata op. 25 - Breite Viertel
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Sonata op. 25 - Sehr Langsam
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Sonata op. 25 - Rasendes Zeitmass
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Sonata op. 25 - Langsam
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Capriccio - Hommage a Paganini in C
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Sonata Poeme
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Prelude - Ysaye
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Chromatic Fantasy - transcription Kodaly-Kugel
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