This is the second album of Russian-American cellist Nina Kotova. Joining her on the CD is Brazilian-born pianist José Feghali, a laureate of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, who passed away tragically in 2014 at the age of 53.
The album features Johannes Brahms’ Cello Sonata No.1, Op.38 in E minor; Max Reger’s Suite No. 2 for Solo Cello in D minor; and Robert Schumann’s Fantasiestücke, Op. 73. This program spans 65 years of musical history.
“I have always wanted to record a purely romantic recital,” Kotova told The Violin Channel. “This repertoire has been close to me since I started performing. José Feghali and I performed this program several times, and the Reger suite is a work that I learned at a very young age.”
Reger’s work was written in 1914 in response to the quintessential works by Bach and was inspired by cellist Pablo Casals’ dedication to Bach’s solo cello suites.
“I hope listeners not only enjoy the beauty of the works we recorded but also find a discovery in Reger,” Kotova told us. “Reger isn’t performed often and I would like to bring awareness to his work.
“Lastly, for those who didn’t know José Feghali or his pianism, he was an extraordinary artist and a friend,” she expressed. “I would like everyone to discover and learn about his artistry, even though his life was cut short at such an early age.”
To purchase and listen to the album, click here.
Shortly after the audio album’s release, Kotova collaborated with actor Robert Redford, multimedia environmental artist Sibylle Szaggars Redford, and film and videography editor Thomas McsBee, to create a multimedia Non-Fungible Token (NFT).
This NFT includes a solo cello track of Reger’s music from the album along with narration by Redford and videography by Szaggars and McBee.
Involving an environmental theme, this rare NFT aims to promote sustainability in a digital world which can often ignore the negative impacts of blockchain technologies on the environment.
The NFT will be minted on a blockchain based on a proof-of-stake protocol, meaning it uses only a fraction of the energy consumption that most NFTs absorb.
Additionally, part of the proceeds raised from sales of the NFT will contribute to “The Way of the Rain Inc.” — a non-profit organization founded by Szaggars that promotes awareness and support for the protection of the Earth through arts and performance.
According to the press release, this NFT is a “ground-breaking effort to introduce crypto native art into the rarified world of classical music.” NFTs are a medium through which artists may express themselves on a digital canvas within cyberspace.
NFTs also allow artists to obtain safe and perpetual royalties from their audiovisual recordings through blockchain technology and blockchain smart contracts.