The Fiery Angel. What’s in a name? The story of the Fiery Angel, written by Valery Bryusov, revolves around the love triangle between the beautiful but wicked Renata, the knight Ruprecht, and The Fiery Angel himself. The story is dark and occult, and so this arrangement by Maya Fridman of Prokofiev’s famous (infamous?) opera needed to be, as well. Since an entire orchestra and soloists needed to “fit” in the keyboard and cello performance, the scoring was pretty dense. For this reason, we chose the beautiful MCO Studio 2, which has a relatively dry acoustic sound to it, making it perfect for a recording like this.

The 1880 Érard piano

Artem Belogurov’s weapon of choice for the recording was an 1880 Érard, owned by Diepenbrock and played on by Mahler. This straight-strung predecessor of the modern grand piano proved to be an excellent choice for this dense scoring, and the dynamic qualities of the instruments were simply captivating. Maya performed on an almost 200-year-old French cello.