Prelude Archive

SCRIABIN: The Final Recital = Recreation of  Scriabin’s program from his final concert – Jeremey Thompson – MSR

SCRIABIN: The Final Recital = Recreation of  Scriabin’s program from his final concert – Jeremey Thompson – MSR

Pianist Jeremy Thompson recreates the composer’s last public appearance as a performer. SCRIABIN: The Final Recital = 2 Preludes, Op. 35; 4 Preludes, Op. 37; Prelude in G Major, Op. 39, No. 3; Mazurka in E Major, Op. 25, No. 4; Etude in b-flat minor, Op. 8, No. 7; Valse in A-flat Major, Op. 38; Sonata No. 3 in f-sharp minor, Op. 23; 3 Preludes, Op. 74; Nuances, Op. 56, No. 3; Danse languide, Op. 51, No. 4; Guirlandes, Op. 73, No. 1; Flammes sombres, Op. 73, No. 2;  Etrangete, Op. 63, No. 2; Sonata No. 4 in F-sharp Major, Op. 30 – Jeremy Thompson, piano – MSR MS 1669, 65:57 (11/2017) [Distr. by Albany] ****:  Pianist Jeremy Thompson realizes his ambition to recreate the ambitious program that composer Alexander Scriabin presented in St. Petersburg, Russia on 2 April 1915, Thompson’s homage to the composer’s centennial (rec. 22-23 May 2015).  Scriabin would perish just three weeks after he gave his recital; a pity, for he had peaked as a performer, and his imagination, busy comprehending his virtual “Universe,” likely had cosmic possibilities. A contemporary writer for Etude magazine, Ellen von Tiedehohl, reported that Scriabin’s eyes “blazed fire” during the concert. […]

BACH & CHOPIN: Josep Colom – Confluences – Eudora

BACH & CHOPIN: Josep Colom – Confluences – Eudora

BACH & CHOPIN: Josep Colom – Confluences – Eudora SACD 1703, 78:03 (12/1/17) *****: A recital which delves deep into the adjacent musical universes of Bach and Chopin with intelligence and improvisational prowess. (Josep Colom; 1957 Steinway Model D) Readers of these pages might recall a 2016 review of Josep Colom’s debut on the audiophile label Eudora which involved a dialog between Chopin and Mozart.  This remarkable pianist is a member of the Chopin Competition committee and his own playing is both critically astute and meticulous without sacrificing the lyrical transcendence which is the heart of the music. Previously, Audiophile Audition had this to say of the unconventional “Chopinesque” treatment of Mozart. If taken separately, the Chopin pieces sound conventionally good. They are gracious readings with command of detail and tone throughout. But the Mozart pieces have probably never been conceived or performed in this fashion. Well-known pieces such as the Fantasy in C minor, K. 475 and Rondo in A minor K. 511 are chosen for their abundant use of chromaticism. By judicious use of pedal and phrasing, we arrive at moment of ambiguity: Is it Mozart or is it Chopin? The graceful cantabile style of both composers amounts […]

Lynelle James, piano = BEETHOVEN: Piano Sonata No. 28; ROSLAVETS: 5 Preludes; SCRIABIN: Piano Sonata No. 4; SCHUMANN: Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13 – Lynelle James, piano – Blue Griffin

Lynelle James, piano = BEETHOVEN: Piano Sonata No. 28; ROSLAVETS: 5 Preludes; SCRIABIN: Piano Sonata No. 4; SCHUMANN: Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13 – Lynelle James, piano – Blue Griffin

Lynelle James, piano = BEETHOVEN: Piano Sonata No. 28 in A Major, Op. 101; ROSLAVETS: 5 Preludes; SCRIABIN: Piano Sonata No. 4 in F-sharp Major, Op. 30; SCHUMANN: Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13 – Lynelle James, piano – Blue Griffin BGR435, 61:28 (5/1/17) [Distr. by Albany] ****: A gifted pianist makes a resonant impression in a recital of diverse musical colors.  Pianist Lynelle James recorded this recital 13-15 April 2016, which displays her capacity for rich colors in a variety of musical styles. After a somewhat hesitant—or just too slow—Allegretto ma non troppo opening for the 1816 Piano Sonata No. 28 in A Major of Beethoven, Ms. James becomes more confident in her stride and declamations as the movement unfolds, and she finds excellent energy in the second, martial movement and the pungently contrapuntal last movement. As in many of the “later-style” Beethoven opera, this sonata condenses classical form into tight, cogent spaces, often indulging in sudden and canonic excursions into the minor modes of the main themes.  The Allegro last movement enjoys an extremely fluent sense of musical transition, especially as the competing motor elements traverse a panoply of registers. The music of Nikolay Roslavets (1881-1944) has a special attraction […]

BACH: The Cello Suites, arr. by Valter Despalj – Petrit Ceku, guitar – Eudora

BACH: The Cello Suites, arr. by Valter Despalj – Petrit Ceku, guitar – Eudora

J.S. BACH: The Cello Suites, arr. by Valter Despalj – Petrit Ceku, guitar – Eudora multichannel SACD 1602 – CD 1: 58: 57, CD 2: 74:31 (5/6/16) *****: The cello suites in spectacular hi-res surround sound recorded on guitar in new arrangements by Valter Despalj. It is with great anticipation that one sits down to take in a guitar recital of the complete Bach Cello Suites by Croatian guitarist Petrit Ceku released by Eudora on SACD. One is always a bit nervous about one’s seat. Too far back and we are with the snoozers who need to be jogged awake. And yet it is awkward, impolite even, to be seated too close; some recordings thrust your head into the very sound-hole of the instrument.  But with the first almost too well-known Prelude in G major, we realize with joy that we are ideally positioned in row 6, seat M, in a smallish recital hall with medium-dry acoustic. The balance between the upper end of the guitar and the low E is graciously achieved, while the amber hues of the middle-range are superbly nuanced and affecting. The instrument by Ross Gutmeier is well-behaved in all registers, and yet it is not […]

Overtures to Bach (GLASS, IYER, SIERRA, DU YUN & Others) Incl. BACH: Cello Suites – Matt Haimovitz, cello – Pentatone

Overtures to Bach (GLASS, IYER, SIERRA, DU YUN & Others) Incl. BACH: Cello Suites – Matt Haimovitz, cello – Pentatone

Matt Haimovetz, cello – “Overtures to Bach” – composed by PHILIP GLASS, VIJAY IYER, ROBERTO SIERRA, DU YUN, LUNA PEARL WOOLF plus The Six BACH: Cello Suites (Preludes only) – Pentatone multichannel SACD PTC 5186 561, 75:48 (9/9/16) [Distr. by Naxos] ****: 6 unique takes on the Bach Cello Suites plus Bach. Overtures to Bach is an intriguing idea for a disc. Cellist Matt Haimovitz has selected the Preludes of the six Bach Cello Suites, then commissioned six contemporary composers to write overtures, or preludes to the six Bach Preludes performed on this disc. While potentially the project could have been an unpleasant musical gimmick, the reality is that this is a wonderful disc, with music that compliments rather than works against the Bach. Haimowitz is a tremendously talented cellist, and he’s long been associated with the Bach Cello Suites. As a youth, he took his cello around the country for impromptu concerts at coffee houses and bars, all to great acclaim. He’s been a featured soloist with many of the world’s great orchestras, including the Atlanta Symphony, the Tokyo New Japan Philharmonic, and the Berlin Philharmonic. The disc begins with a premier of a short Philip Glass work, that precedes […]

“The Return” = Preludes of RACHMANINOFF, Works of BABAJANIAN – Raffi Besalyan, p. – Sono Luminus CD & audio-only Blu-ray

“The Return” = Preludes of RACHMANINOFF, Works of BABAJANIAN – Raffi Besalyan, p. – Sono Luminus CD & audio-only Blu-ray

Riveting sound and brilliant performances add up to a most desirable set. “The Return” = RACHMANINOFF: Prelude Op. 3, No. 2 in C sharp minor; Prelude Op. 23, No. 5 in G minor; Prelude Op. 23, No. 6 in E flat major; Prelude Op. 23, No. 7 in C minor; Prelude Op. 23, No. 5 in G minor; Prelude Op. 23, No. 10 in G flat major; Prelude Op. 23, No. 12 in G sharp minor; Étude-Tableau, Op. 33, No. 6 in E flat minor (published as No. 3); Étude-Tableau, Op. 39, No. 1 in C minor; Étude-Tableau, Op. 39, No. 5 in E flat minor; Étude-Tableau, Op. 39, No. 6 in A minor; Variations on a theme of Corelli, Op. 42; ARNO BABAJANIAN: Prelude; Melody and Humoresque; Elegy; Vagarshapat Dance – Raffi Besalyan, piano – Sono Luminus DSL-92187, 65:42 (CD + audio-only Blu-ray – 5.1 & 7.1 DTS, 2.0 PCM with FLAC and MP3 files downloadable) *****: I had no idea that such a powerhouse pianist as Raffi Besalyan worked so close to me. Just downtown from where I live, as Assistant Professor of Piano at Georgia State University, resides this technical wiz and bold Rachmaninoff master. On the […]

SCRIABIN: Preludes, Impromptus, Poeme and Etude – Klara Min, p. – Steinway & Sons

SCRIABIN: Preludes, Impromptus, Poeme and Etude – Klara Min, p. – Steinway & Sons

Klara Min reveals a natural affinity for the erotic early music of Alexander Scriabin. SCRIABIN: Prelude in B Major; Impromptus, Op. 14; 3 Pieces, Op. 45; 24 Preludes, Op. 11; Poeme in F-sharp Major, Op. 32, No. 1; Etude in c-sharp minor, Op. 2, No. 1 – Klara Min, piano – Steinway & Sons 30045, 62:38 (1/8/16) [Distr. by Naxos] ****: South Korean pianist Klara Min studied with James Tocco in Lubeck, and she had a strong New York presence, having founded New York Concert Artists & Associates in 2008. A Schumann acolyte, Min advocates a kind of Davids-League, an artistic union to combat cultural arrogance and ignorance. The music of mystic Alexander Scriabin (rec. 13-14 July 2015) obviously appeals to her decidedly Romantic sensibility, here concentrated on the relatively early works of the Russian composer. The Op. 45, No. 1 Scriabin designates as an Album Leaf, and its subtle colors seem to appeal to the composer’s legendary pianissimo effects. Its emotion remains rather elusive. The “Poeme fantastique” No. 2 proffers a nervous scherzando which enjoys the occasional crisp mezzo-forte. The mercurial “Prelude” projects a sad, moody meditation, close to a Russian blues. Min’s pedal effects make the Op. 45 […]