For Daniil Sayamov, a representative of Vera Gornostayeva's piano school, this is a debut album on Melodiya. He plays Sergei Rachmaninoff - Piano Sonata No. 1 (1907) and Variations on a Theme of Corelli (1931), the composer's last solo piece neglected by most pianists. Rachmaninoff's Piano Sonata No. 1 is a rarely performed piece. "The sonata is perceived as an inconspicuous gem - it can be heard freshly, following the flow of music almost without prompting from the inner ear" (Yaroslav Timofeyev). The composer was inspired by the images of Goethe's Faust, but later abandoned the originally conceived program. The tragic concept of the sonata is surprisingly in harmony with the Variations on a Theme of Corelli written 24 years later in the USA. Both works has the Dies irae theme, a medieval sequence about the Last Judgment, which became a kind of leitmotif of the infernal in Rachmaninoff's music. A native of Rostov-on-Don, Daniil Sayamov grew up in a family of professional pianists and from early years showed a special passion for Rachmaninoff's music: "without it, I would be someone else", he admits in an interview. After winning the Rachmaninoff International Youth Competition in 2000, Prof. Vera Gornostayeva invited him to her class at the Moscow Conservatory. After completing his postgraduate studies in Moscow, Daniil Sayamov won an internship at the Royal College of Music in London, where Dmitri Alekseev was his mentor. And then, the pianist, by his own admission, decided to start from scratch. "His playing is bright, exciting, magically influencing the audience. There is always a unique performing concept, a powerful charge of internal energy, an amazing ability to immerse the audience in a unique musical world of his own", wrote a music critic about Daniil Sayamov's performance.