Schubert 'The Late Sonatas'
D784, 958, 959, 960
An insightful collection of re-recordings (D.784 & D.958, recorded in 2013) and re-releases (D.959 & D.960, recorded in 2002) which highlight Paul Lewis’ acclaimed exploration of Schubert’s Sonatas, spanning over a decade. For his final Schubert Sonatas disc, Lewis revisits the works which helped to establish him as one of the greatest pianists of his generation.
“Though he's still young we shall come to recognise him - I mean immediately, by his sound, as one can recognise all the finest players. And then there will be the recognition of his distinctive personality, which on this showing is fresh, inquisitive, highly intelligent, and already astonishingly mature and equal to the challenge of being a guide on our journey through these great works. He makes us follow; makes us listen; he knows how and when to produce magic and also knows when it is enough just to open doors in order to reveal wondrous things. He can be straightforward and knows how to sing a lyric without portentousness.” Stephen Plaistow, CD Review, BBC Radio 3, 17 May 2003
“fascinating and irresistible … Lewis is a more rhetorical, self-assured artist than he was in his late twenties … wonderfully played … Lewis is one of the great Schubertians of our time.”
Harriet Smith, Gramophone – July 2014
HMC902115/16 Piano Sonatas D840, 850 & 894, Impromptus D899, Klavierstücke D946
GRAMOPHONE RECORDING OF THE MONTH
CD Review Disc of the Week
HMC902136/37 Piano Sonata D845, Wandererfantasie D760, 4 Impromptus D935, Moments musicaux D780
INSTRUMENTAL CHOICE OF THE MONTH – BBCMM Xmas 2012
CRITICS’ CHOICE 2012 – GRAMOPHONE DECEMBER 2012
HMA1951755 Piano Sonatas D958, D784
Born in Innsbruck in 1963, Thomas Larcher grew up in Austrian Tyrol. He studied composition and piano in Vienna and began his musical career as an acclaimed piano soloist. For some years now, Larcher has dedicated himself primarily to composing and is today considered one of the leading composers of contemporary classical music in Austria. Larcher’s sound world is both original and captivating in its fusion of contemplative harmonies with innovative performance techniques. Written for and performed by tenor Mark Padmore, A Padmore Cycle features the composer at the keyboard. Works for solo piano performed by Tamara Stefanovich round out this program of first recordingsview
'My Favorite Dowland'
Now revered as a titan of the lute and one of today's pre-eminent early music scholars, it may come as a surprise that Paul O'Dette began his musical career playing electric guitar in a rock band in Columbus, Ohio. After exploring guitar transcriptions of lute music he opted to focus solely on the lute and music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. In addition to a catalog of more than 120 recordings, O'Dette has garnered five GRAMMY® nominations and numerous other awards. The music of John Dowland has long been one of O'Dette's specialties. This selection presents excerpts from his recording of Dowland's complete music for lute for harmonia mundi.
“O’Dette, the master of the most intimate thoughts of composers from Bach and Bacheler to Milano and Molinaro, playing almost for himself, with us as eavesdroppers … A fitting tribute to both composer and interpreter.”
William Yeoman, Gramophone – July 2014
“A beguiling progress report on O’Dette’s continuing journey…elevated freedom and spaciousness in the playing…full of verve… Farewell, too, is anchored by an anguished pathos that casts a powerful spell.”
Paul Riley, BBC Music Magazine - August 2014#
"At last, something genuinely new." It was in these terms that Ferruccio Busoni greeted the publication in 1908 of the 14 Bagatelles, in which Béla Bartók conveyed the violent aesthetic impact of his discovery of authentic Hungarian peasant music. Over the next twenty years, up to the magisterial Piano Sonata of 1926, he indefatigably refined an innovative pianistic language – pungent, dissonant and percussive, with multiple new playing techniques – that was to influence the entire 20th century. A master of every style, from Haydn to Boulez by way of Chopin and Chabrier, Alain Planès stands revealed here as a Bartókian of the front rank.
“This beautifully played compilation of Bartok works for solo piano gives one a palpable sense of the process whereby, having seized on Hungarian and Romanian folk song, he transformed it into his own musical modernism. It’s not unlike Wordsworth’s discovery of a new future for poetry in the peasantry of Cumberland. Six Romanian Folk Dances and 14 Bagatelles respectively indicate raw material and its potential. The Four Old Laments, from 15 Hungarian Peasant Songs, form a kind of proto-sonata within that sequence; then comes the blinding actual Piano Sonata, its compulsive rhythm shared by Bartok’s arrangement of his Dance Suite.”
Paul Driver, The Sunday Times – 18 May 2014
“Colourful and three-dimensional … Planes has served Bartok well.”
Jed Distler, Gramophone – July 2014
“….Alain Planes is one of pianos best-kept secrets…pianism of great beauty and flare…There’s an edge of carefulness and unshakeable equilibrium about planes playing…”
Jessica Duchen, BBC Music Magazine - August 2014