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Vladislav Zolotaryov, Alexandr Nagayev and Albin Repnikov - these are household names for fans of 20th-century Russian music for the accordion. The sonatas featured on this release share an aura of tragedy and a reflection on life in the shadow of death. The sonatas are replete with musical associations directly referring to death, as evidenced by Zolotaryov's use in his Third Sonata of a quotation from the medieval requiem mass sequence Dies iræ, dies illa. Another example is Repnikov's use, in the third movement of his composition, of motivic writing from the song ???????, ?????????? (Forgotten, abandoned), which tells of a child conscious of his imminent death. Nagayev's Sonata, Op. 13 was penned a year after Zolotaryov's tragic demise and is a musical tribute to a friend and fellow composer.