BACH: Partita No. 4 in D, BWV 828. CHOPIN: Andante spinato and Grande
Polonaise, Op. 22. Polonaise in F sharp minor, Op. 44. SCRIABIN: 3 Mazurkas
from Op. 3, Valse in A flat, Op. 38. GRANADOS: Eight Poetic Waltzes. SCHULZ-EVLER:
Paraphrase on By the Beatiful Blue Danube. ALBENIZ-GODOWSKY: Spanish Tango,
Op. 165. GOULD: Boogie-Woogie Etude,
TCHAIKOVSKY: The Seasons, Op. 37b. Six moreaux, Op
RZEWSKI: Four Pieces (1977). Hard Cuts (2011) for Ralph Van Raat and
Lunnapark). The Housewife's Lament (1980).
FAZIL SAY: Ses. Kumru. Black Earh (Kara Toprak). Nazim. Sevenlere. Bodrum.
Paganini Jazz. Alla Turka Jazz. Yeni Bir Gulnihal. Four Dances of Nsreddin
Hodja. Fantasy Pieces. Nietzsche und Wagner
About a year ago this site mentioned a fine new re recording of concerted works of Saint-Saëns, Ravel and Gershwin featuring young British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor (REVEW). Now we have another new recoding from Grosvenor, called Dances, based rather loosely on the concept of a program of music related to dance used in his 2010 Wigmore Hall recital, now repeated on this CD. These recordings were made in July 2013 in Suffolk's Potton Hall. It is an entertaining program beginning with a Bach partita ending with Morton Gould's Boogie-Woogie Etude (you can see Grosvenor's performance from a 2011 Proms Concert on YouTubeYOUTUBE). Obviously this superb artist has no technical limitations—he tosses off the fiendishly difficult Blue Danube paraphrase with the greatest of ease, and beauty of tone as well. Excellent audio.
Frederick Rzewski (b. 1938) is a whirlwind musician distinguished as an educator, n field, a virtuoso pianist, and a composer whose challenging works tesxt the technique of leading pianists. His most famous work is his hue set of variations on a Sergio Ortega song El pueblo unido jamas será vencio, a set of variations inspired by Beethoven's Diabelli Variations. Two recording of this incredible work have been mentioned on this site, one by Ralph van Raat (REVIEW), the other by Omri Shimron (REVIEW). There also is a video avail le of the composer's performance. Now we have another CD from Naxos again featuring pianist Ralph van Raat, featuring three more works of Rzewski. The first is a set of four short pieces written in 1977, supposedly "protest" music, detailed in CD notes. An anonymous composer wrote The Housewife's Lament around 1850 with a text describing the miserable life of a housewife. It is a complicated set of variations and at one point it is played with a dust cloth sweeping over the keyboard. Rzewsk composed this odd piece in 1980. The most recent music on this disk was written in 2011 specifically for van Ratt and the instrumental ensemble Lunapark (a Dutch word for an amusement park). There are about 17 players of various instruments in this avant-garde group, and they seemn to delight in this score, much of which is improvised from the composer's notes. This is a challenging CD, performd to perfection, and a plus is the detailed rogram notes by van Raat.
Tchaikovsky composed his set of 12 piano pieces known as The Seasons in 1875, about the same time as he was writing Swan Lake. Each of the rather short pieces represenst a month, and twp have become quite popular, the Barcarolle June, and the lively November Troika. Most major pianists have avoided t his suite as it is hardly a virtuoso vehicle, although it has been recorded by Ashkenazy, Bronfman, Mustonen, and Wild. This CD also contains Tchaikovsky's Six Pieces, Op. 19, composed about two years before The Seasons. The highpoint of the six is the final movement, Theme and Variations. Young Russian pianist Pavel Kolesnikov is now at the beginning of a most promising career. His highly-praised Wigmore Hall recital already has been released. ..Surely all of the music on this CD is typical Tchaikovsky, rich in musical ideas presenting many interpretive opportunities for the soloist. Kolesnikov's playing is superb in every way—beautiful tone and phrasing, with no technical problems whatever. This program was recorded in August 2013 in Wyston Estate's Concert Hall, the engineers have captured the Steinway's rich sounds with uncommon clarity. One minor negative: it is unfortunate Tchaikovsky's Dumka wasn't included (this was a favorite sowpiece for Vladimir Horowitz who made his recording in 1942. This easily could have fit on the new Hyperion disk and would have given the virtuoso pianist more of an opportunity for virtuoso playing.
This site praised two recordings of music by Turkish pianist/composer Fazil Say (b. 1970); in January of this year, the Mesopoamia Symphony and the Universal Symphony (REVIEW), and in March 2013, his Istanbul Symphony and Concerto for Ney (REVIEW). Now we have this unusual compilation of short piano works Say has performed throughout his career. A few are solo piano versions of some of his earlier works, dances, and fantasy peces ending with his views on Nietzsche and Wagner. An improvisation atmosphere prevails, and on occasion we hear odd effects produced by the pianist presses on the strings with the left hand. This is an enjoyable, rather unusual piano CD. Also check out another CD of Say's music mentioned on this site several years ago (REVIEW)..
R.E.B. (November 2014)