Piano musikk

Brilliant Classics

Pianomusikk for stor og liten. Alt fra smektende Chopin til innstendige Satie og Pärt.
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Image Klaviermusik für Kinder
kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Scherzi
A scherzo may be a joke, but Chopins Scherzi are not to be laughed at: indeed, they are highly virtuosic and require performers with the utmost skill. Within their complexity, though, is hidden some of the most sensitive and tender music Chopin ever composed. On hearing his Scherzo in B flat minor Op.31, Robert Schumann felt compelled to compare it to the romantic poems of Byron, as it seemed to overflow with passion and feeling. The Scherzo in B minor Op.20, marked Presto con fuoco, starts at tremendous speed, and climaxes in astonishingly virtuosic arpeggios that span almost the entire length of the keyboard, ending in a minor plagal cadence that seems to sum up the dark despair the piece encapsulates.More lighthearted but equally complex are Chopins Études and Mazurkas, which he performed himself to great acclaim. It was Schumann, again, who praised Chopins skilful playing, marvelling at his capacity to bring out the inner voices just as clearly as the melody. At a time when other composers were turning towards largescale orchestral works, Chopin knew his strengths lay with his solo compositions for piano: his Waltzes, Scherzi, Mazurkas and Études still rank among the most performed and beloved solo piano works today. This release illustrates why Chopin deserves his reputation as supreme composer for the piano, featuring as it does his most dramatic works for the instrument. Czech pianist Ivan Moravec, whose recording career spans almost half a century, entered the classical music scene in America with aplomb thanks to his performances of Chopins Scherzi in 1962. This recording was made in 1989 at the world famous Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in New York State, which boasts one of the finest acoustics in the US. Playing on a Steinway Model D that had to be brought through the window especially for the performance, Moravec parkles on this recording, as he illustrates why his reputation as a worldclass pianist is truly deserved.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image 5CD-BOX: The Piano Collection
kr 95 (kr 159)
Image Complete Piano Music (9 CD)
Jeroen van Veen, piano

This set contains the complete music for piano by Erik Satie, including the works for 4 hands.

Satie’s piano music became immensely popular in the 70’s of the last century, when pianists like Reinbert de Leeuw and Aldo Ciccolini took it out of the realm of “serious classical music”. Especially the Gymnopédies and Gnossiennes became “Music for the Millons” and adorned many amateur’s piano stand.

This set proves however that there is much more than the Gymnopédies. Satie created a whole world of revolutionary aesthetics, mixing the serious with the absurd, the sense and the nonsense, the surreal and the banal. He had immense influence on composers after him, including Cage, Stravinsky and the Minimalists like Glass, Nyman and others.

Pianist Jeroen van Veen, the Champion of Minimalism, is the ideal interpreter of Satie, his playing, quasi-naïve, is hypnotic, entering another sound and time dimension.

Excellent liner notes by a musicologist and the artist himself.

kr 179 (kr 299)
Image Piano Music
Works: Ancora. Berlin song. Brothers. Bye bye mon amour. Canzone popolare. Corale. Corale Solo. Discovery at night. Giorni Dispari. I giorni. Indaco. L'origine nascosta. L'Ultima Volta. Le onde. Luce. Nefeli. Nightbook. Nuvole bianche. Oltremare. Primavera. Questa notte. Reverie. Sarabande. Two trees. Una mattina. Walk. Waterways.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image The Great Piano Works (15 CD)
Franz Liszt is universally celebrated as one of the greatest-ever virtuoso performers on the modern piano. Contemporary accounts describe his seemingly superhuman technical abilities and equally striking charisma and stage presence. Yet Liszt was a formidable composer, and his expansion of pianistic possibilities was achieved as much through innovation in his own great piano works as through his astonishing performance on the instrument, if not more. Like many child virtuosos thrust early into busy concert careers (Liszt’s began at the age of nine) he retired early, weary of the spotlight, turning his back on the stage at the remarkably early age of 35. Since he lived to the likewise remarkable old age of 75, much more than the latter half of his life was devoted solely to composition, and having been a pianist of his calibre, the works he created for his own instrument were indeed groundbreaking. Showcasing the demanding pieces in this set – from the thundering of Liszt’s virtuoso side to the mysticism of his deeply spiritual side – are 15 renowned pianists on recordings dating from 1994–2016. Liszt’s piano works may be divided into several diverse categories. These include the virtuoso showpieces based on themes from operas (Isoldens Liebestod Alexander Gavrylyuk, Wagner Transcriptions François Dumont, Bellini and Donizetti Transcriptions Mark Viner, Verdi and Beethoven Transcriptions Michele Campanella); religious-inspired or devotional works (Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude and 2 Légendes Irene Russo) the spare, enigmatic pieces from his last years (Trübe Wolken, En rêve, Bagatelle sans tonalité Philipp Kopachevsky and La lugubre gondola Misha Dacic); a ground-breaking sonata regarded as an iconic work of the repertoire (Sonata in B minor Philipp Kopachevsky); and numerous piano transcriptions of other composers’ non-operatic works (Grandes études de Paganini Goran Filipec, Beethoven Symphony No.6 in F Op.68 Pastorale’ Michele Campanella). The set concludes with a grand gesture, as Nelson Freire is joined by the Dresdner Philharmonie under Michel Plasson for Liszt’s two well-loved piano concertos.

kr 251 (kr 419)
Image 20th Century Italian Piano Music, Vol. 1 (20 CD)
This release is a substantial anthology of piano music written by Italian composers in the twentieth century. In an era dominated by opera, several Italian composers chose a radically different path, concentrating on purely instrumental music, influenced by widely varying sources such as Wagner, Impressionism, Neo-Classicism and Dodecaphony. This set offers a fascinating overview of piano works by Martucci, Cilea, Busoni, Sinigaglia, Caetani, Fano, Respighi, Pizzetti, Casella, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Dallapiccola, Rota, Malipiero, Castiglioni, and Einaudi. Only the leading Italian pianists perform on this release, including Sandro Ivo Bartoli, Michaelangelo Carbonara, Pietro de Maria, Alessandra Ammara, and more.

kr 311 (kr 519)
Image Minimal Piano Collection Volume XXI-XXVIII (8 CD)
Who is the true father of Minimalism? When the movement originated in the early 1960s, it sprang up organically – some composers played by the rules (even if they were rules of their own invention), while others experimented freely, unaware or unconcerned about how music 'should' be composed. One of those young mavericks was Dennis Johnson, who has now faded into almost complete obscurity after he gave up his musical ambitions for a career in mathematics. But his 1959 composition November can be considered one of the first, if not the first, properly minimalist work. It later went on to inspire La Monte Young (Johnson's class mate at UCLA) to write his prolific Well-Tuned Piano. Complete recordings are few and far between, and this new recording by Jeroen van Veen is the perfect introduction for anyone looking to get back to the roots of Minimalism. Jeroen van Veen is one of the Netherlands' most prominent recording artists. This collection of Minimal Piano Music follows two previous successful albums, available on Brilliant Classics (BC8551 and BC9171). The last album provided a snapshot into the extensive scene of minimalist music today; this one takes us back to how it all began. Featuring several famous pieces from the original minimalist canon – including Philip Glass's Music in Contrary Motion and Terry Riley's Keyboard Studies – there are hours of beautifully relaxing and inspiring music here to enjoy. This 8CD set bring the listener back to the roots of Minimalism, all works were written in the seventies of the 20th century, a time when the new aesthetics and perception of music, sound, repetition and time experience were creating a new chapter in music history. The longest piece is the 5 hour “November” by Dennis Johnson, a work in which the player is free to build the intervals and chords according to his own timing and spacing. The other composers in this set are Philip Glass, Tom Johnson, Peter Garland, Terry Riley, Harold Budd and La Monte Young. Recorded in his own studio by the most important protagonist of Minimalism today, Dutch pianist Jeroen van Veen. Van Veen has a myriad of recordings to his name, notably the multi CD boxes Minimal Piano Collection 1 and 2, complete Satie, Einaudi, Tiersen, Jacob ter Veldhuis, Simeon ten Holt and many more. Van Veen wrote his own personal and illuminating liner notes for this set.

kr 173 (kr 289)
Image Complete Etudes
Alessandro Deljavan, piano

Chopin Etudes are the Mount Everest for every concert pianist: the combination of technical difficulties of the highest level and a rich and complex musical content make them even today the biggest challenge a mortal pianist can meet.

Young Italian pianist Alessandro Deljavan presents a strong and highly personal interpretation: deeply poetic and passionate, backed by a superlative technical mastery. · Deljavan is one of the most remarkable pianists of his generation. "His playing is full of intensive power and contagious artistry" (Dmitri Bashkirov), "he is one of the most interesting pianists I've heard in my life" (Fou Ts'Ong), "he is one of the most major talents of his age" (John Perry), "Jaw-dropping virtuosity and heart-stopping eloquence" (Dallas Morning News).

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image 4CD-BOX: Canto Ostinato
Canto Ostinato by Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt is becoming one of the most important, iconic, and most frequently performed piece of Minimal Music of our time.This particular performance is the longest ever, lasting more than 4 hours. It uses the rich recourses of 4 grand pianos and organ, creating near endless possibilities of variation.Performed by the Champion of Minimal Music Jeroen van Veen and his minimal friends, who already recorded very successfully for Brilliant Classics: Arvo Pärt, Ludovico Einaudi, Satie, and two 10CD sets with the Minimal Piano Music Collection.

kr 83 (kr 139)
Image 16CD-BOX: Complete Piano Music
Jolanda Violante, Bart van Oort, Ursula Dütschler, Stanley Hoogland, Yoshiko Kojima, Riko Fukuda

Several assets set this box apart from its competitors in the market, and not just the price-point for which Brilliant Classics is well known. It is the most complete set of Haydn's piano works available: there are others of the solo works, which exclude the spirited keyboard concertos (only those which he wrote for the fortepiano are included here; there are others for harpsichord and organ which can be found in Brilliant Classics compendious Haydn Edition, BC93782). Other 'complete' box sets omit the version of the Seven Last Words which Haydn may not have arranged himself, but which still powerfully conveys the pathos of his orchestral original.

Then there are the many 'miscellaneous' variation sets, single movements and solo arrangements of pieces from larger-scale works such as the symphonies, operas and string quartets, which Bart van Oort diligently researched and recorded a few years ago on a fine modern reproduction of a fortepiano by Walter, a maker esteemed by Haydn and Beethoven. Several of these smaller works are not otherwise available. No less valuably, all the recordings are made on fortepianos on the scale that the composer himself played and composed for: with a lighter and more capricious touch than todays pianos, enabling him to write fast movements of complementary brilliance which can sound heavy or clangorous on modern instruments. Likewise all the pianists here are historically informed fortepianists by inclination, who have made most of their recordings in music of this era.

The sonata recordings, which constitute the bulk of the set, and indeed of Haydn's pioneering work for the instrument, have received consistently fine reviews since they were released. Now gathered up with the Klavierstucke and concertos, they made an attractive proposition to any listener with an ear for Haydn's eternally fresh spirit.

This 16CD set contains all of Haydns works for piano: the piano concertos, the complete piano sonatas and the complete Klavierstücke. All performances are on fortepiano, historical instruments which Haydn knew and on which he developed his own personal keyboard style, perfect examples of the classical Viennese keyboard writing, but all bearing the stamp of Haydn particular genius, revelling in witticisms, unexpected turns and twists and a genuine expression of sincere feelings, eschewing operatic drama, but all the more keenly felt. Pianists are Bart van Oort, Jolande Violante, Stanley Hoogland, Riko Fukuda, Yoshiko Kojima and Ursula Dütschler, artists specialised in the handling of historic instruments and the appropriate style of authentic performance practice.

kr 257 (kr 429)
Image Canto Ostinato XL (12CD-box)
Simeon ten Holt's unmistakable minimalist style is the driving force behind Canto Ostinato, one of the composer's most famous works. Canto Ostinato is the best-loved Dutch piano composition of the 20th century, with its mesmerising melodies never failing to soothe the mind.

The instruments and number of performers for the piece are unspecified; written 'for keyboard instruments', the work has been recorded many times with piano, but this unique set brings together 12 arrangements of the work - for piano, as well as for organ, marimba and synthesizer. With a variety of recording venues ranging from throughout The Netherlands to Canada, this compilation is a must-have addition to any classical music collection.

Jeroen van Veen is a leading light in modern piano performance, as well as a successful composer. Chairman of the Simeon ten Holt Foundation, he has won critical acclaim with ensembles such as The International Piano Quartet, DJ Piano and Jeroen van Veen & Friends.

kr 227 (kr 379)
Image Studies And Transcriptions
Ferrucio Busoni (1866-1924) was one of the most gifted pianists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as being a composer of considerable importance and vision. A child prodigy, he debuted at the age of 12, being quickly marked out as a piano virtuoso unlike any other. His reputation for many years rested on his remarkable transcriptions of J.S Bach, which tended to overshadow both his original compositions and his other transcriptions.

This CD contains his complete transcriptions of Liszt. The tradition of a pianist transcribing another composer's music for his own use was time honoured when Busoni made his versions of Liszt's music. However whereas most pianist adapted works to suit their style and technical abilities, Busoni went a step further and wrote everything down, often illuminating his choices with rational and pertinent explanations for his changes. Busoni wrote in 1909 'I no longer play the piano with my hands' -- his intellectual, thought provoking approach to piano playing and his interpretational genius had taken his performances and his view of the music to another level altogether. Listening to these transcriptions is the nearest we can get to hearing Liszt's music through the eyes, ears and mind of one of the finest musicians and greatest pianists the world

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Piano Music
kr 53 (kr 89)
Image 12 Etudes
Mariangella Vacatello, piano

The Debussy-year 2012 brought a wealth of reissues on the
market, but surprisingly few new recordings. Reason the more
to welcome this new recording of a generous selection of
Debussy piano works, centred around the substantial "12
Etudes".These works, written in the later stage of Debussy's
creative life, form the apotheosis of his style. Far from any
evocative "impressionistic" Tonmalerei or picturesque
atmosphere painting they are Debussy's answer to the Etudes
of Chopin, purely abstract creations of melody, harmony and
rhythm. Fiercely uncompromising and difficult, they form the
summit of Debussy's piano oeuvre, and one of the highest
challenges to any performing pianist.

The young Italian pianist Mariangela Vacatello likes challenges,
as was convincingly proven by her excellent recording of the
Liszt Transcendental Studies (Brilliant Classics): "...poetic and
playful, her technique knows no limits..a remarkable artist.."
(Piano News) and a "5 Star" review in the German magazine
Fono Forum.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Completye Keyboard Sonatas Volume 1
Despite his present-day obscurity, during his lifetime Leopold Kozeluch was held in just as high esteem as his contemporaries CPE Bach, Haydn and Beethoven, with some accounts praising him as a more proficient musician than Mozart.At last his music is beginning to attract modern attention, with a large number of scholarly articles and editions having been published in recent years. This release is the first in a new series presenting his keyboard sonatas in full, works which are without doubt the most interesting facet of his output.Kozeluch wrote over 50 sonatas, the first eight of which are presented here. A composer very much of the Classical tradition, he employs all of the devices typical of this period - broken-chord accompaniments, tremolos, repeated notes and expressive chromaticism - to create a variety of works that are noteworthy for their subtly different emotional shadings and sheer beauty of melodic material, albeit with a deceptively simple quality that makes them all the more memorable. This recording uses a fortepiano, carefully modelled after a 1795 instrument from Vienna that Kozeluch himself could well have played on, which allows for a highly authentic listening experience. Indeed, Kozeluch was a champion of the fortepiano, and these works effectively detail the pioneering compositional style that was permeating keyboard music in Vienna at the time, a style whose development Kozeluch played such an important role in.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Complete Piano Music
Jeroen van Veen, piano

Michael Nyman (born 1944) is one of the most famous and successful film music composers of our time. His music, although inextricably connected with the visual action of a film, has the quality to stand on its own, to evoke and express the visual emotions in sounds only.

Nyman's most famous film score is of the film "The Piano" , becoming an instant hit. Its openness and its deceptively simple musical lines appealed to a mass audience.

The music featured on this recording is either originally written for piano or arranged by the composer himself.

Minimal Music champion Jeroen van Veen has been fascinated by Nyman's music his whole life, and the recording of it was a logical step. He is the ideal interpreter of this seductive, mind opening music.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Complete Waltzes
Alessandro Deljavan, piano

Chopin's waltzes are written for the Parisian salon, for a sophisticated audience of artists and aristocracy. Though more 'light hearted' than most of his other compositions, they bear the unmistakable genius of Chopin: refined and exquisite pianism, brilliance and melancholy, sorrow and joy go hand in hand.

Italian Alessandro Deljavan is one of the most remarkable pianists of his generation: "His playing is full of intensive power and contagious artistry" (Dmitri Bashkirov), "he is one of the most interesting pianists I've heard in my life" (Fou Ts'Ong), "he is one of the most major talents of his age" (John Perry), "Jaw-dropping virtuosity and heart-stopping eloquence" (Dallas Morning News).

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Music for an Aquatic Ballet
This fascinating disc includes several first recordings in a broad survey of John Cage's unpredictable muse, from the simple pleasures of a short score written in the 1950s for a synchronised swimming display, from which the album takes its title, to the more arcane delights of his musical compendium based on star-charts, Atlas Eclipticalis. Though the music inevitably ranges from the most regular and predetermined score to an aesthetic of chance and serendipity, dependent on the will of the performer, Cage's voice, whimsical and questioning, is everywhere present, asking what music is and how and why we listen to it.

Much is owed in a Cage performance to the musicians, their skill and their sympathy; no different in that general sense from a Schubert performance, perhaps, but an extra degree of imaginative sympathy is required of musicians who must themselves make many important decisions about the very stuff of what they will perform, such as on Two: what instruments to use? Which notes, and how fast?

Roberto Fabbriciani is a seasoned musical collaborator of Cage's, who worked with him and other outstanding figures of the post-war avant-garde for over three decades, performing, promoting and in many cases helping to refine their music. So he has prepared his own version of music from Atlas Eclipticalis, and he is joined here by a young percussionist who takes on the formidable demands of one of Cage's most elaborate scores, 27'10.554'' for percussion and tape. As the disc unfolds at its own unhurried pace we may hear a quietly determined and utterly original composer in works for a quixotic combination of instruments. It is the latest in what is becoming a notable series of Cage recordings on Brilliant Classics, which is making a serious contribution to the composer's growing discography, otherwise largely to be found on obscure and premium-priced labels.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Complete Piano Music
Contains the premiere recordings of 'In the Steppes of central Asia' in the composers arrangement for 4 hands, plus premier recordings for the Scherzo in E, Allegretto in D flat, Polka Helene, and Adagio Patetico in A flat.

Marco Rapetti has recorded the piano music of Lyapunov, as well as the sonata by Dukas and works for two pianos by Malipiero.

Alexander Borodin was a part-time composer whose primary career was in science. Borodin was a member of the 'Mighty Handful', the group of five Russian composers which included Balakirev, Cui, Rimsky Korsakov and Mussorgsky, who established a Russian school of composition building on the legacy of Mikhail Glinka.

Borodin liked to joke, 'I compose only when I am ill', and he left a small body of work, much of it in a fragmentary state at his death, which was later edited and completed by Rimsky and Glazunov. However, such is the quality of these works that his place among the greatest of Russian composers is assured. The three symphonies, In the Steppes of central Asia, the opera Prince Igor and the two string quartets are masterpieces.

Borodin studied the piano as a small child, and the earliest work on this survey of his complete output for piano is the Polka Helene, composed when he was just 9 years old. Paraphrases on a Simple Theme was a venture with Lyadov, Rimsky-Korsakov and Cui, with Liszt providing the prelude. Written for fun, they are delightfully witty.

The Petite Suite is a collection of short works Borodin composed over a number of years, an example of high class salon music -- Borodin knew his Kalkbrenner, Field and Hummel well. The Scherzo in A flat from 1885 is a wonderful work, often played as an encore by Rachmaninov. Ravel admired Borodin, and had studied his music as a teenager, and his affectionate tribute to Borodin is included in the little Waltz in the manner of Borodin.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Sonatas for Four Hands
Here’s a release of rare repertoire sure to intrigue and delight anyone with more than a passing interest in 18th-century musical culture. The English scholar, musician and inveterate traveller, observer and collector Charles Burney is known for many things – fine taste, a ready wit and a capacious address book principal among them – but his own compositions have so far received almost no attention. Burney’s diaries make for immensely entertaining reading. In them may be relished vivid accounts of musical circles and activities in Italian, German, Dutch, French and English cities, and mention is made of Handel, Metastasio, Sammartini, Mozart, C.P.E. Bach and many others. However, Burney’s musical personality was deeper and more complex than reading his diaries might lead one to believe. For the fact is that he was not only a ‘musicologist’, but also a practising musician active as a composer, a professional organist, harpsichordist and violinist. Burney’s encyclopedic knowledge and breadth of sympathy are evident in the two volumes of the Four Sonatas or Duets for two performers on one Pianoforte or Harpsichord, which he published at his own expense in London in 1777. In fact the novelty of the sonatas was a commercially astute decision, for although they are in essence conceived for solo piano, there was at the time no other published music for the increasingly popular form of duet music at a single keyboard. Each sonata has two movements: a slow and expressive introduction leads to a lively Allegro, though the second sonata of the second volume reverses this order, and the final sonata begins with an elaborate Andantino which overshadows the concluding Rondo. Burney also took care to exploit the dynamic possibilities of the hammer-action instruments which were gradually displacing the harpsichord; Anna Clemente & Susanna Piolanti perform the sonatas on a square, English model fortepiano dating from 1800: the booklet includes both photographs of the instrument and an invaluable introduction to Burney the composer. The historical significance of Charles Burney (1726-1814) as an author lies in his “General history of Music” and his numerous diaries, in which he describes the musical life of the countries he visits and the famous musicians and composers he meets there, all written with an deep insight grounded in profound musical knowledge. As a musician he was active as organist, harpsichordist and violinist. His sonatas for keyboard 4 hands (“for the pianoforte or harpsichord”) were published for domestic use by a growing middleclass, eager to consume not too challenging keyboard works. They are delightful sonatas in the style of Clementi and Johann Christian Bach (the “London Bach”), fully exploring the possibilities of the new keyboards quickly gaining popularity. Played by Anna Clementi and Susanna Piolanti on a historic square English piano built in 1800 by Josephus Kirckman.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Solo Piano Music
CharlesValentin Alkan was one of the most important pianists and pianocomposers of the 19th century, although he lived the largest part of his life in obscurity and seclusion. He was a close friend of Chopin (they were neighbours in Paris) and he was the only pianist in whose presence the great Franz Liszt was nervous to play.Alkans piano oeuvre consists of two cycles of Studies of the most fearsome and fiendlish difficulty, and several books of miniatures and character pieces.Fortepianist Costantino Mastroprimiano chose a varied programme, presenting the multi-faceted genius of Alkan: alongside the substantial and diabolical Sonatine (which belies its name, both in proportions and character) he plays some hauntingly beautiful Nocturnes and some grotesque miniatures (Le tambour bat aux champs, Capriccio alla soldatesca).Mastroprimiano, one of the foremost players of period instruments of today, chose a superb Pleyel instrument of 1865, an instrument Alkan might well have known in his time. Liner notes by the artist.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Complete Keyboard Sonatas, Vol. 2
Leopold Kozeluch (1747-1818) was born in Bohemia but spent his professional life in Vienna, where he became a famous musician and composer, for a time even eclipsing Mozart’s fame. The sonatas included in this second volume have 3 or 4 movements, of the same scope as Haydn’s sonatas. They are written in the Galante Style, with easy flowing melodies, featuring a highly developed keyboard virtuosity in the abundance of scales, arpeggios, runs in thirds and sixths, repeated notes and tremolos. Jenny Soonjin Kim plays a fortepiano (Kozeluch preferred fortepianos to harpsichords). The first volume of the complete Kozeluch Sonatas was praised by the press for its spontaneity, keen sense of the style and effortless and brilliant technique.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Carnaval Vénitien
Gabriella Morelli, Giancarlo Simonacci (piano 4-hands)

The name of Ricordi is best known as one of the most famous and prestigious music publishing houses of the world. Founded by his grandfather Giovanni, the firm gained great reputation under Giulio Ricordi's leadership, notably by publishing Verdi's operas.

Giulio not only had a good nose for quality music and commerce, but he was also a composer himself. This CD presents his works for piano 4-hands, salon music of high quality, very much "en vogue" in that time. The titles of the pieces give a clear indication of the style: Carnaval vénitien, Le bal de la poupée, Le livre des Sérénades, Galop abracadabrant...

Played with obvious enjoyment by the Duo Pianistico, Gabriella Morelli and Giancarlo Simonacci.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Frescobaldi Legacy - Piano Transcriptions
Sandro Ivo Bartoli, piano

Although Girolamo Frescobaldi is said to have had a beautiful singing voice, it was his talent as a keyboardist that brought him into the spotlight in Italy in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, and which allowed him the opportunity to frequent such established composers as John Dowland and Orlando di Lasso. After Frescobaldi was appointed organist of St Peter's Basilica in Rome, many aspiring musicians travelled there in order to study with him, and his influence on later composers of the Baroque period is undeniable.

This release is dedicated to arrangements of Frescobaldi's music, with each composition bearing the hallmarks of its transcriber's distinct style. In addition to offerings by Respighi, Bauer and Feinberg, the disc features Reicha's 36 Fugues pour le Pianoforte -- a work that pays homage to the early-Baroque composer through its use of the composer's Recercar Chromatico. The same theme also appears in Ligeti's Omaggio a Girolamo Frescobaldi, a modern interpretation using the twelve-tone scale, and the compilation extends its twentieth-century focus through the inclusion of Bartok -- a composer who, during his years as a touring concert pianist, acquired the Torchi edition of Frescobaldi's works while on a trip to Italy.

In his fourth recording for Brilliant Classics, Sandro Ivo Bartoli -- a leading interpreter of early-20th-century music, hailed as one of the most exciting pianists of his generation -- casts a new perspective on the Italian genius's works and shows the extent to which his music produced a legacy that permeated the Classical period and beyond.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image 5CD-BOX: Complete Piano Works
5 CD set. Almost half of the content are premiere recordings. The set includes Fanfare (1894) of which the sheet music was lost. Fortunately an old copy has been found again by Marco Rapetti in Germany.

The Russian late Romantic composer Anatoly Lyadov is somewhat overlooked compared to his famous contemporaries, although Modest Mussorgsky had tipped him for greatness: "A genuine talent! Easy, natural, daring, fresh and powerful..." Lyadov's work shows great precision and attention to detail, but he did not fulfil his potential, because he was also unreliable, very self-critical, and totally lacking in ambition.

This superb five-CD set of Lyadov's Complete Works for Piano features many first recordings, and reveals as never before his wonderful contribution to this repertoire. His piano works form the largest part of his output, and his idiomatic writing for the keyboard proves that he was an accomplished pianist. His style was firmly rooted in the European romantic tradition, particularly the music of Schumann and Chopin, but he also liked to include traditional Russian and Polish themes. He was not interested in sonata form and none of his piano works are very long. In fact his two major piano Works are sets of variations. He composed a large number of charming piano miniatures, the most famous being the enchanting Musical Snuffbox, a regular encore piece, and the delightful Marionettes.Many of these intimate, polished little jewels are minor masterpieces, and deserve to be a regular part of the piano repertoire.There are also joint compositions, such as the ingenious cycle of piano Paraphrases written together with Borodin, Cui and Rimsky-Korsakov, all members of the so-called Mighty Handful set of composers. Scriabin's harmonic vocabulary provided the model for Lyadov's later works, including the Four Pieces Op.4.

kr 95 (kr 159)
Image Keyboard Sonatas
David Boldrini, fortepiano

The 88 sonatas of Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801) have been recorded complete before but never on a fortepiano which reveals their true Italianate colour as well as their unfailing charm. The Bachian figurations of the quick movements trip so much more easily from the lighter touch of the fortepiano than its heavier descendant, and a fine pianist can make much more from the Scarlattian contrasts of breathless toccata and lyric style which are Cimarosa's principal modes of expression here.

As with Scarlatti's individual sonatas, these short character pieces gather naturally by key, tempo and affekt into groups; not Scarlattian pairs but trios, thus forming mini sonatas in the Classical form if not style. About 30 of them have strong late Baroque inspiration, full of rhythmic and harmonic inventiveness, but the biggest group is formed by at least 40 sonatas that call to mind an opera sinfonia in a typical Italian theatre, with melodramatic moments, cavatinas and cabalettas, love duets alongside comic scenes, all deriving from the effervescent Neapolitan tradition. There are also homages from within the sacred music of that tradition with elaborate counterpoint and formal fantasy, and still other sonatas that proceed in a more reflective, late Classical style, conceived in a tripartite A-B-A form.

David Boldrini has recorded the sonatas on two instruments: a copy of an Anton Walter model, and an original Schantz fortepiano, both carefully maintained at the Accademia Bartolomeo Cristofori in Florence, which collects and curates fortepianos and the music written for them. Boldrini himself studied in Florence and now works there as a pianist, conductor and repetiteur.

Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801) was one of the best known composers of the Neapolitan School. He held several important musical posts throughout Europe (St. Petersburg, the Emperor Leopold in Vienna) as a highly successful composer of operas. His best known work is the opera Il Matrimonio Segreto, which brought him universal fame.

Cimarosa's output for the keyboard consists if a great number of sonatas, short, one movement works, charmingly melodious, witty and entertaining.

Pianist David Boldrini plays an early fortepiano, achieving a wide range of expression, from sweet murmuring to fierce brilliance.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Piano Music
Working in all the standard genres from string quartet to symphony, sonata to concerto, ballet to opera, Reinhold Glière never attained the fame of his contemporary Rachmaninov, but his music is no less recognisably Russian, no less filled with long and aching cantabile melodies; the significant point of contrast is that Glière, who never left Russia, was not afflicted with the pervasive melancholy that so memorably colours Rachmaninov’s music. The difference is quickly apparent in the 30 Preludes which are Glière’s major contribution to piano literature. The C minor Second may very obviously be written in the shadow of Chopin, but most of the major-key examples enjoy the carefree mood of a relaxed, Russian Brahms. Nearly all of them invite words to be sung with them, such as the spring-like No.7 or the Romance of No.15. For pianists and lovers of Romantic piano music alike, the Preludes of Glière should be a joyful discovery. On his debut recording for Brilliant Classics, Gianluca Imperato complements the Preludes with selections from other, slighter keyboard collections: the Kinderstücke Op.31, 12 Sketches Op.47 and then the Two Piano Pieces Op.99 dating from 1955: an impromptu for left-hand alone which is not to be confused with his Op.35 No.9 (a favourite miniature for violin and cello recitals); indeed neither it nor the companion Melodie have been recorded before. They show that at the age of 80, Glière could still pen music that was remarkably refined, calm and melancholy; suspended in time, or beyond the reach of events. Reinhold Glière (1875-1956) was a Russian composer and violinist. His works draw inspiration from his great example Chopin, as well as from various other Russian composers and contemporaries: Rachmaninoff, Scriabin for his harmonic and pianistic style, and Khachaturian and Kabalevsky for the folklore elements and Soviet realism. This new recording contains his 25 Preludes Op. 30, following the same tonal sequence as Chopin’s 24 Preludes but adding a 25th prelude in C major. Furthermore we hear several character pieces, of great charm, atmosphere and melodic invention. Italian pianist Gianluca Imperato won many prizes at international piano competitions, as well as the prestigious Solti Foundation grant. “Sensitive and mature pianist, a true revelation” wrote the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

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Image Ray of Light
A friend of Brahms and teacher of Schoenberg, Alexander Zemlinsky was a composer who straddled the divide of the 20th century, signalling the end of the Romantic period and the beginning of a marked upswing in experimentation. For the most part, however, the piano music on this disc is still firmly in the tradition of the great Romantic composers, composed as it was early on in his career. The Ländliche Tänze, or Rustic Dances, are a collection of light, pastoral dances, with nods to Schumann and Brahms. More melancholy and mournful are the Balladen (Ballades) and Erinnerungen aus Wien (Memory of Vienna), the latter referencing Wagner in its use of the Tristan chord; these are works filled with the emotion and sensitivity one would expect from the tail end of this dramatic period, hinting at the developments that were to mark the following century. The lack of attention Zemlinskys oeuvre has received until now is sadly not surprising; a combination of the composers own attitude to his works he was more interested in writing than selfpromotion his life coinciding with dramatic historical events and his cultivation of a certain modesty of style (making him averse to dramatic emphasis and sensational effects in his music) meant that for a long time his output remained neglected.Emanuele Torquati is an acclaimed pianist, having performed at various prestigious concert venues across the globe. His recital at Columbia University in the USA garnered critical acclaim, with the New York Times praising him as a thoughtful and insightful musician, noting his sensitivity and skill at conveying to the listener how he thinks and feels about the music. This release complements his previous recordings for Brilliant, which include Brahms and Schumann: his interpretation of Zemlinskys works rounds off this period of Romanticism perfectly.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Angelus – Sacred Piano Music
Irene Russo, piano

A beautiful concept: the “Religious Liszt”, or piano music with a sacred inspiration.

Franz Liszt, one of the most famous artists of the 19th century, with the status of a modern pop star, was a deeply religious man, in his later years he was even ordained as a priest (the lower orders). Apart from his extravert, sometimes even a bit showy, virtuoso works (the studies, opera transcriptions and paraphrases, Hungarian rhapsodies etc) he wrote a substantial amount of “religious” piano music: Ave Maria, Angelus, Miserere, Légendes, Benediction de Dieu dans la solitude and many others, music of an often serene and contemplative character, smelling of incense. But also the dark side is presented: in the Totentanz we hear an infernal dance of the dead, on the melody of the Dies Irae.

Played with a natural feeling for the Lisztian rhetoric, a fine sense of drama and a beautiful tone by Italian pianist Irene Russo, who makes her Brilliant Classics debut with this wonderful 2CD set.

Contains extensive liner notes and biography of the artist in English.

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Image Miniatures for Violin & Piano
The complete recording of the Miniatures for violin and piano by Kancheli! Giya Kancheli is a Georgian composer whose intensely personal style is related to Minimalism and the New Spirituality.

His Miniatures for violin and piano are like short stories, evocative, ironic, poetic and dramatic. The themes are inspired by the cinema and the theatre. Kancheli nearly always asks to play pianissimo and very slow, in order to eventually disconnect with the instrument and enter another dimension of time and sound.

Played with total dedication and intensity by violinist Andrea Cortesi and pianist Marco Venturi, who already successfully recorded for Brilliant Classics works by Glass, Tüür and Kancheli (BC94814).

Kancheli himself was very impressed by the present recording, he wrote to the musicians: “Your performance and particularly your interpretation made an indelible impression on me. The breathing, the freedom and the inspiration I heard are impossible to convey with the notes on the staff. I think that you managed to catch exactly what I could only dream of! Please pass on my very special thanks also to the wonderful sound engineer. With gratitude and best wishes, Giya Kancheli.“

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Image 5CD-BOX: Piano Variations
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Image Piano Music
Tatiana Larionova, piano

Born the same year as Robert Schumann, 1810, Ludwig Schuncke died at the tender age of 24 from tuberculosis. Thus was cruelly abbreviated the life of a pianist and composer who, had he lived on, might well have attained more of the fame accorded to Schumann himself. The two men met at a Leipzig drinking establishment in December 1833 and quickly became firm friends. Up to that point Schunke had pursued the career of a prodigal musician, including studies in Paris with Anton Reicha, even a brief meeting with Chopin. The influence of Chopin can be heard in the reflective introduction to Schunke's Grand Sonata, which is the largest piece in this valuable collection of his piano music, which will captivate anyone with an ear or interest for the stirrings of the 19th century Romantic tradition of piano music.

Schuncke dedicated the Sonata to Schumann, who returned the compliment with his Toccata Op.7, some indication of the mutual respect between the two men but also Schuncke's capability as a performer. The Sonata's brief but stormy Scherzo leaps through torrents of passagework, and the following Andante owes more to the songful German tradition than Chopin's brand of melancholy.

The other works on the disc remain unpublished, but are no less polished for that. There are two Caprices (one dedicated to Clara Wieck, soon to be Clara Schumann, and the other to Chopin); two brilliant rondos (though even here the influence of Mendelssohn is more noticeable by its absence) and two variation sets, one cast as a Divertissement and the other as an Aria.

They are played with all the élan and feeling due to them by the Russian pianist Tatiana Larionova (b.1979), a student in Moscow of the great Viktor Merzhanov; she is presently resident in Italy.

Ludwig Schuncke (1810-1834) died tragically young of tuberculosis at age 24. He was hailed in the Leipzig musical circles as a young genius, Robert Schumann (who became a close friend) exclaimed: "this is the one we were waiting for!"

Schuncke wrote for the newly founded "Neue Zeitschrift für Musik", was a member of Schumann's Davidsbund, and quickly established himself as a composer. His style, firmly rooted in the classical Viennese tradition, is infused with Romantic gestures, and emotional outpourings, his pianistic style strongly influenced by his comrade Schumann: flourishing and virtuoso.

This new recording contains the complete piano music of Schuncke, a Grand Sonata and several salon pieces of brilliant and diverting character: a real discovery!

Played with brilliance and gusto by the young Russian pianist Tatiana Larionova.

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Image 3CD-BOX: Piano Music
Alfredo Casella is considered to be the leading representative of the generazione dellottanta (generation of the 80s): a group of Italian composers born around 1880, including Ottorino Respighi, Ildebrando Pizzetti, Gian Francesco Malipiero, Giorgio Gedini and Franco Alfano, who sought to prove that there was far more to Italian music than opera and concentrated primarily on orchestral, chamber and instrumental music. Casella was a controversial and often misunderstood figure much has been made of his connections with fascism and his decision to remain in Italy under Mussolini but he was probably just a staunch Italian nationalist who passionately believed in bringing his countrys glorious musical heritage to the fore (he was largely responsible for the rediscovery of Vivaldis music in the 20th century).

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Image Complete Piano Sonatas
Maurizio Paciariello, piano

The 'true amalgam of ecstasy and reason' which Glenn Gould found within Paul Hindemith's music is abundantly evident in the three piano sonatas which he wrote fairly quickly in 1936, following the artistic success but deep personal wound created by the first performances of his masterpiece, Mathis der Maler, which was banned by the Nazis as soon as it had been heard. Inevitably these sonatas are more compact and restrained in expression, but their novel forms still enclose furious marches and impassioned laments within the wrong-note counterpoint that was Hindemith's characteristic tone of voice.

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Image Compete Piano Music
Francesco Cilea may now be best remembered as a composer of durable, blood-and-thunder staples of the verismo operatic school such as Adriana Lecouvreur and L’Arlesiana, but he addressed himself to chamber and instrumental music at both the beginning and end of his long career. Conservative and unfailingly melodic as his chosen idiom was, it nonetheless evolved in the 66 years between student salon pieces such as the Tre piccoli pezzi of 1888 and the album-leaf of 1944.

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Image Complete Works For Piano Duet
"These performances from Denmark are all affectionate and notably intelligent and they are powerfully yet pleasingly recorded. The culmination of this set is a fine account of that terrifying masterpiece La valse. Recommended." (Gramophone, 1988)

Ravel was a pianist, and the piano was central to his art. The piano was the instrument through which he discovered and expressed innovations in style, technique and expression. He composed at the piano, and, unsurprisingly, many of his orchestral works (Bolero being the exception) appeared in piano versions.

Although his entire output is modest -- around 60 works, he transcribed more than half of these works for 2 pianos, or piano duet.

Apart from the well known works, this 2Cd set contains some little known pieces -- Entre cloches of 1897 was only published in 1975, and was originally appended to the Haberna, now better known as the 3rd movement of Rapsodie espagnole.

Frontispice for 2 pianos, 5 hands was written in 1918. Ravel's mother had died in 1917, and he was deeply attached to her. Her loss resulted in 3 years of musical silence, with the exception of Frontispice. It is a short and very experimental work published with a collection of philospohical war poetry by the Italian Ricciotto Canudo. It is a curiously evocative work, almost surreal.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Complete Piano Works
Ildebrando Pizzetti (1880-1968) belonged to the group of Italian composers (the so called 'Generation of the '80s'), his contemporaries were Respighi, Malipiero and Casella. Of these composers, Respighi and Pizzetti composed relatively little for the piano, and their works for the instrument tend recall music of the past - with echoes of baroque and Gregorian chant detected in many of them.

Pizzetti's love of melody is quintessentially Italian -- a predilection for song, dramatic lyricism and at time moments of great joy and passion -- all components found in not only his orchestral music, but in the works for piano on this CD. Many are exquisite miniatures, but the large scale Sonata of 1943 is Pizzetti's most important piano work and the Variations on a theme from Fra Gherardo (his opera from 1928) show the composer equally at home working on a large scale. In both works musical influences and styles from earlier periods are used to great effect.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Complete Piano Sonatas Vol. 1 (3 CD)
‘Not just another Hammerklavier recording’: this was Gramophone’s enthusiastic verdict on a recording made more than 15 years ago by Giovanni Bellucci, who now returns to Beethoven with a complete series, newly recorded, of the piano sonatas. In 2000 the reviewer noted that Bellucci was barely known to the wider concert-going public; no longer is that an issue, since his reputation precedes him thanks to this and other recordings. ‘The abundant vitality of feeling’ and ‘untrammelled freshness of feeling’ contributed towards an appreciation of Bellucci’s remarkable achievement, at a relatively tender age, in assimilating the mighty work so thoroughly, ‘yet to be able to play it in a way that is unburdened by a consciousness of that knowledge.’ Later Beethoven recordings were praised elsewhere along similar lines for their ‘exemplary control’, ‘beguiling lightness of touch’ and ‘masterful command of sonority’ (Musical Opinion): ‘Refreshing, occasionally idiosyncratic and unpredictable playing that further bolsters Bellucci's reputation as a pianist both deeply musical and fearlessly virtuosic.’ These previous releases concentrated on imaginative pairings of well-known sonatas with transcriptions and other works by Romantic composers unimaginable without Beethoven’s example. Now, in the complete cycle, he (quite properly) goes back to the beginning, presenting the sonatas in roughly chronological order, in so far as dates can be firmly established. CD1 contains the three sonatas Op.1; CD2 contains Op.7, the Op.49 pair and the Op.14 pair, and CD3 the trio of Op.10 sonatas before concluding with the ‘Pathétique’, Op.13. Further critical encomia are sure to follow: Brilliant Classics presents here another milestone in the long and eventful path of this music on record. The start of an exciting and prestigious series: the complete Beethoven piano sonatas played by Giovanni Bellucci! Giovanni Bellucci is one of the most interesting and extraordinary pianists of today. Described by Piero Rattalino as “a force of nature, vast and palpitating”, his playing is highly original, striving to recreate the original impact of the works he is playing: “he takes us back to the Golden Age of the Piano” wrote Le Monde. His recordings, notably with works by Liszt, were showered with prizes such as Diapason d’Or, Choc, Editor’s Choice, CD Maestro etc. Giovanni Bellucci embarks on this epic musical journey of recording the complete Beethoven Sonatas (and later the Beethoven/Liszt symphonies), a challenge that every pianist of world stature will face. His Beethoven is free, with a strong sense of rhetoric and improvisation, adhering nevertheless strictly to the score and its intentions. The result is fresh, exhilarating and illuminating, letting us marvel at the originality and genius of the music. Issued in 3-CD sets, the series starts chronologically with the Early Sonatas Op. 2, 7, 10, 13., 14 and 22.

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Image Novelletter For Strings
After Buxtehude in the 17th century and prior to Nielsen in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Niels Gade (1817-1890) was the most famous Danish composer. His extraordinary 1st Symphony of 1843 was premiered in Leipzig at the Gewandhaus conducted by Mendelssohn, who promptly offered Gade a post at his new conservatory. Gade later conducted the premiers of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto and Schumann's Piano Concerto. His music (he composed 8 symphonies, the 5th having an important piano part, a violin concerto and a Spring Fantasy for piano, orchestra and voices and a quantity of chamber and orchestra works) is superbly crafted, romantic but with a classical poise and form. The influence of his friends Mendelssohn and Schumann can be detetected, but there is a very definate Scandinavian feel to his music. Schumann wrote that he could detect 'the lovely beechwoods of Denmark' in Gade's music.

The 2 Novelletten are among his most successful works. Beautifully crafted, elegant and warm they are rewarding discoveries, and a good introduction to this neglected but important figure in 19th century Scandinavian music.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Piano Music (4CD-box)
"He is the father, we are the sons," said Mozart of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. This statement reveals just how venerated a figure the latter composer was in his day - to the extent that much of Haydn's musical apprenticeship was based on the study of his works. Today he is hailed as the forefather of the First Viennese School: a composer who was instrumental in the development of the empfindsamer Stil, which sought to express 'true' or 'natural' feelings in music.

C.P.E. Bach is perhaps best known for his cultivation of the keyboard sonata; here, however, we have the opportunity to delve into a lesser-known facet of his output: Recorder Concertos and chamber music. The works abound in invention of the upmost quality, all the while exhibiting a wide emotional range and intensity of expression; from the highly virtuosic Flute Concerto in D minor Wq22 (where more space is devoted to the dialogue between flute and orchestra) to the Sonata Wq108 for harpsichord, with a flute and string accompaniment - and in which the lead instrument is relegated to a discreet role, thus echoing the transition stage in which the harpsichord gradually gave way to the ensemble score - these pieces join together in revealing the composer's forward-thinking, not to mention highly accessible, style.

Brilliant regulars Stefano Bagliano (recorder) and Federico Guglielmo (violin) are among the talented array of artists featured on this recording - all of whom perform under the ensemble name 'Collegium Pro Musica', a period performance-oriented group which has elicited much praise since its founding in 1990.

kr 83 (kr 139)
Image Impromptus
An Impromptu is a piece for piano solo, typical of the romantic era. Franz Schubert wrote eight of them. The second series of four was only published after his death. They are all on this single CD. Martijn van den Hoek is the pianist.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Complete Keyboard Sonatas, Vol. 4
Antonio Soler was born in 1729, and received his early musical instruction from his father, a military musician in the Spanish Army. At the age of 6 he entered the Abbey of Montserrat and became a choirboy in the famous escolania. He also learned how to master the harpsichord and organ, and met Domenico Scarlatti and the singer Farinelli who were both employed by the Royal Family at the court at El Escorial. Soler taught the sons of Carlos III, and it was for the princes that he composed some of his most dazzling sonatas. Some of these works exceeded the range of many of the instruments in use at the time, and it is worth noting that Soler was in addition to being a composer, an instrument builder of some talent, and the instruments he developed could accommodate the demands his music required.

The sonatas on these CDs show Soler had moved away from the single movement sonatas of Scarlatti, and had adopted (like Haydn and Boccherini at the time) the four-movement form which became the norm for the classical sonata right up to and including the early sonatas of Beethoven. By the time Soler composed these sonatas in the 1760s, the new forte-piano had begun to make serious inroads and displace the harpsichord. This recording uses a forte-piano that enables the Alberti bass to be used to maximum effect -- something a harpsichord cannot achieve.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Ballades / Impromptus / Preludes, Op. 28
Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy, piano

This 2CD set contains the complete 4 Ballades, Impromptus and the Preludes Op.28. The names of these genres were not invented by Chopin, but he gave them a wholly new, original and personal meaning and content.

The Ballades are full bodied works in a free narrative form, building up the tension and drama from the contemplative lyrical beginnings to the highly passionate conclusions. The Impromptus are in free A-B-A form, and are a fusion of the Nocturne and Ballade style. The Preludes Op.28 are the romantic answer to Bach's Preludes, each short piece a gem of refined and distilled emotions.

Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy is one of the finest German pianists of his generation. The recording of the Preludes received a 9/9 on Classicstoday - Jed Distler wrote: "he achieves a fusion of impassioned ardoor and classical textual rigor... the best of Schmitt-Leonardy's Chopin adds up to a stimulating and compelling listening journey well worth traveling, even if you've heard these works hundreds of times".

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Image Piano Sonata No.3 & 24 Preludes
Once considered in the same breath as Prokofiev and Shostakovich, Kabalevsky’s star has waned somewhat (the same fate has befallen both Myaskovsky and Khachaturian), both in his native Russia and farther West, where he is primarily remembered for his exuberant orchestral potboiler, the overture he wrote to an opera on a Romain Rolland story, Colas Breugnon. The opera won both a Lenin Prize and Rolland’s approval – no small feat – but has been completely forgotten. However, the offbeat rhythms that made the overture an instant hit also lend an upbeat, funky character to the opening movement of the Third Piano Sonata. Kabalevsky wrote the sonata in 1948, shortly after the premiere of another opera, Taras and his Family, based on the same gory narrative which inspired Janácek’s orchestral fantasy, Taras Bulba. ‘Excellent music (much Prokofiev),’ wrote Myaskovsky in his diary, ‘but the libretto is dreadful.’ The composer may have taken note, for although the opera was not revived, he used several of its themes in the sonata. Sweet playfulness and calm characterize the first theme, the gliding movement of the waltz in the second, and a spirit of youthful fanfare in the finale. The 24 Preludes were composed in 1943 and dedicated to Myaskovsky. Kabalevsky had lately (like Shostakovich) been in siege-ridden Leningrad, and the wartime mood may have contributed to the patriotic flavour of the Preludes: each one uses a theme from folk-music collections of Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakirev and Liadov. Their first performer was the Russian virtuoso Yakov Flier, who was sufficiently convinced of their merits to include them in his international tours. ‘They are not mere transcriptions of the songs’, he declared, ‘but new, original works of great cohesion, a cycle in which each part has a meaning of its own. Each Prelude expresses a particular mood and significance… It is one of Kabalevsky’s most profound and successful works.’ Compared to works of political expediency such as the Song of the Party Membership Card from 1956, Flier was doubtless right. During his lifetime Dmitri Kabalevsky (1904-1987) was considered by the authorities to be one of the Top 5 composers of Russia, on a par with Prokofiev and Shostakovich. He was praised for his formalism, general popular style and patriotism. He was not a revolutionary, and this caused his fame to decline after the collapse of the Soviet Union. His music however has a strong identity, vigorous, alternating power with lyricism, and rooted in the rich folklore of Russia. This new recording contains his effervescent 3rd Piano Sonata and the complete 24 Preludes Op. 38, written during World War II, each based on a Russian folk song, presenting a wide variety of moods, from the pensive melancholy to fiery passion. Played by the highly talented young Italian pianist Pietro Bonfilio, who expresses his love for the Russian culture with this beautiful recording.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Music for Piano Four Hands
Romantic piano music for four hands from Russia Anton Rubinstein (1829 1894), was in his lifetime (as his younger brother Nikolai) one of the most famous figures in European music world. His concerts were his contemporaries as 'musical revelations', as a teacher he was a pioneer in the modernization of the Moscow Conservatory, as a cosmopolitan composer, he was the model for Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. Although his compositions are now receded into the background, its significance for the Russian music is indisputable. Sara Bartolucci and Rodolfo Alessandrini for over 20 years making music together as a duo already Pianistico di Firenze. Your new CD is the first in a planned series of shots with Anton Rubinstein's complete music for four hands: It is for the most part (in the best sense) idyllic salon music with picturesque onomatopoeia, highly romantic in gesture, with occasional influences from Russian folk music, for example in "six Character images "op. 50 (of 1854-58). In his more complex works, such as the piano sonata recorded here for Four Hands in D major, Op. 89 (1870), influence of German music in the tradition of Beethoven and Mendelssohn are not to be missed. The pictures were taken in June 2013 in the Accademia Bartolomeo Cristofori in Florence; who wrote of the two pianists cd booklet contains detailed notes on the works.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Complete Etudes
Dmitri Alexeev, piano

In celebration of the Scriabin Centenary in 2015 this new recording presents the complete piano Etudes by the Russian Mystic.

The three sets of Études clearly mark the development of Scriabin's musical language: the Opus 8 is strongly influenced by Chopin and Scriabin's friend and contemporary Rachmaninoff, the Opus 42 already show signs of his new and completely individual harmonic experiments, while Opus 65 are ablaze with his ideas about the mystical power of music, the forces of darkness and light.

No better Scriabin advocate than Dmitri Alexeev, a pianist of unique technical and emotional powers, creeping under the skin of this fascinating music.

Alexeev already recorded a highly acclaimed set of the complete Piano Sonatas by Scriabin, on 94388.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Fantasia Contrappuntistica
Fantasia contrappuntistica and Elegies are available together for the first time.

Sandro Ivo Bartoli is one of the most exciting pianists of his generation, and is a leading interpreter of early twentieth century Italian piano music, particularly Casella and Malipiero, as well as Busoni. About Sandro Ivo Bartoli: "a fantastic pianist" (Der Spiegel Kultur), Svenska Dagbladet heralded him as "an outwordly virtuoso".

The Italian virtuoso pianist, composer and intellectual, Ferruccio Busoni, is mainly remembered for his magnificent works for piano, which are some of the most ferociously demanding in the repertoire.Devoted to the music of Liszt and later in life to Bach, Busoni wrote much that is beautiful, complex and ground-breaking.

The Seven Elegies put into practice the ideas contained in his controversial pamphlet, the Sketch of a New Aesthetic of Music, which highlighted the limitations and fragility of Western music, and promoted a new musical language incorporating avant-garde devices such as bitonality and quarter-tone harmonies. The Elegies created a furore, with its disorientating tendency to switch between major and minor mode within the same musical phrase, but is a visionary masterpiece. The Fantasia Contrappuntistica, Busoni's best known solo piano work, is a contrapuntal fantasy on Bach's last unfinished work, Die Kunst der Fuge, almost a reinterpretation of Bach for the 20th century. It remains one of the most impressive works in the entire piano literature, a monumental undertaking that stretches the possibilities of composer, instrument and performer to the limit.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Piano Music
kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Piano Works
New recording: one of a series of releases from Brilliant Classics featuring outstanding young artists who have won the principal prizes at the Young Pianist Foundation's National Piano

Pieter-Jelle de Boer was born in the Netherlands in 1978, and started playing the piano at the age of five. A student of Jan Wijn, Murray Perahia and Emanuel Ax, he took the second prize at the 2001 YPF National Piano Competition. At the Paris Conservatoire, he studied conducting with Peter Eötvös and John Carewe. He has a busy recital and concert schedule. For this Mendelssohn recital, de Boer has chosen some of the composer's most brilliant and virtuosic works. The Variations sérieuses Op.54 are generally considered to be among his most successful works for solo piano. As a virtuoso pianist Mendelssohn composed many highly demanding works for his instrument. The early Sonata Op.6 shows the unmistakable influence of Beethoven and Mozart, but the Rondo capriccioso Op.14 is a wonderful example of the technical wizardry Mendelssohn was capable of. He was very friendly with the composer and pianist Ignaz Moscheles (a friend in turn of both Beethoven and Hummel), and the older man's influence upon the young Mendelssohn's keyboard-writing should not be underestimated. This disc offers a good opportunity to sample some of Mendelssohn's piano-writing outside of the famous Songs without Words sets that tend to overshadow his works for piano.

kr 53 (kr 89)
Image Piano Music
Repetition of motifs within a composition is nothing new: Soler's Fandango, Bach's Chaconne and Pachelbel's Canon, to name just three examples, all make use of it. But for Dutch composer Jeroen van Veen it is the most important element - the essence, as it were - of music. Rooted in tonality, and subject to the interaction and choices of the performers, it can prove immensely powerful.

Indeed, it was on this premise that van Veen launched his compositional career with two volumes of 24 Minimal Preludes; this exciting 5-CD release contains follow-up pieces to those works, ones that reflect the composer's approach to music as the structuring of LEGO® bricks - the individual components that create variation within a composition. As well as Incanto - a series of compositions for two or more keyboards in which the music develops slowly, utilising techniques such as fluctuation of speed - the release also includes NLXL, a musical illustration of Holland's landscape patterns as seen from the air, based on a book of the same name by Dutch photographer Karel Tomeï. The work is created by way of a multitrack recording with a variety of keyboard instruments, with large segments versus smaller segments of The Netherlands' landscape expressed through longer and shorter note values.

The composer himself is the main performer here, assisted by Frank Steijens on the carillon and his wife for works requiring four hands or two pianos. Described as 'the leading exponent of minimalism in Holland today', van Veen's hypnotic, trance-inducing music makes for an experience unlike any other, transporting the listener to 'another place' through ever-changing soundscapes.

kr 95 (kr 159)
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