Browsing: Piano

To end the year, up pops a Mozart with five stars written all over it. As a matter of course, I do not listen to new Mozart piano releases. There is such an abundance of unsurpassed recordings on my shelves – Ashkenazy, Brendel, Gilels, Haskil, Kempff, Richter – who could ask for anything more? But I slipped on this latest offering as an early-morning tune-up and, before I knew it, I was I heaven. I am sure the good folk at DG had a go at Seong-Jin Cho not to risk Mozart at this stage, but the Chopin competition winner…

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The thought of recording an album dawned on me after performing a Christmas music recital with pianist Lisandre Sévigny Di Quinzio. I enjoyed singing the music, and the audience was quite receptive. After talking to my accompanist, we agreed to be equal partners in this venture. Fundraising Recording a CD is an expensive proposition, far more than we could afford on our own. So we got a fundraising campaign together. We solicited financial contributions, regardless of the amount. In exchange, we offered various incentives to eventual benefactors. Happily, we met our goal, or just about. Repertoire We established three main…

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With the release of My Spanish Heart, pianist Katarzyna Musial follows up on her previous recording Come Dance. Widely acclaimed, that album encouraged this native of Poland now residing in Canada to revel in the artistic and cultural splendors of the Iberian peninsula. “You don’t have to be born in a culture to be enamoured with it,” she explains. In fact, her love affair with Spain first began as a child, when, at five years old, she simply fell in love with the country upon a visit with her parents. “My album is a musical journey through Spain,” Musial explains.…

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Can you imagine hearing Lang Lang playing for you in the comfort of your home? Or maybe Vladimir Horowitz, Yuja Wang, even the legendary Sergei Rachmaninoff? Impossible, you might think. Well, now such dreams are well within reach. Just last month in Montreal, Piano Bolduc unveiled Spirio, a high-end and high-tech Steinway & Sons grand piano capable of reproducing music of the past with incredible accuracy. But don’t think for a moment that this is some kind of updated player piano that strikes keys mechanically. It goes beyond that. Indeed, it can capture the most subtle nuances produced by the…

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PREVIEW: of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn at 100, at New York City’s 92nd Street Y, Monday, November 19, 7:30 p.m.; and INTERVIEW: with pianist and conductor Ignat Solzhenitsyn, son of Nobel Prize-winning author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the heroic anti-Soviet dissident whose vital and uncompromising documentation of the horrors of the Stalinist police state won the 1970 Nobel Prize for literature and provided indispensable impetus to the forces that brought on the communist regime’s late 20th-century downfall, would have turned 100 this December 11. In what promises to be an especially rich, personal and heartfelt early celebration of that centenary, New York City’s…

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Last Saturday, November 10, Mundia Productions presented Mozart’s Requiem and the Piano Concerto #20 in d minor k.466 performed by the Orchestre philharmonique du Nouveau Monde conducted by Michel Brousseau, along with the participation of the Société philharmonique du Nouveau Monde choir and guest pianist Vasyl Kotys. What you missed If we were able to travel 1000 years forward, my guess is that Mozart’s Requiem would still be performed somewhere in a distant galaxy. This work is a masterpiece that is worth attending anytime we have the chance. The highlight was the performance from Société philarmonique du Nouveau Monde choir.…

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REVIEW: of works by composers David Lang and Gregg Kallor – The Mile-Long Opera by Lang, performed on the High Line; and sketches from The Frankenstein Suite, plus the monodrama “The Telltale Heart,” by Kallor, performed in the Catacombs of Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery. Some uncanny musical surprises graced unusual locations both above and below New York City street-level during the early part of Halloween month. Here’s a diary retrospective. Going the Extra Mile Beginning at twilight on six consecutive evenings (October 3 through 8; viewed October 7), Pulitzer-Prize-winning composer David Lang and a host of collaborators presented a unique choral…

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Jan Ladislav Dussek could have been a contender if only Mozart had been born somewhere else and at another time. Dussek (1760 to 1812) has the wrong dates and the wrong skill sets. Two bars into every movement he picks a note that you know Mozart would have declined for a better choice and, while Dussek may recover quickly and deliver a passage that could pass for Clementi at his best, your ear is already tensed for the next false turn. Of the three concertos on offer here, two are contemporaneous with late Mozart in 1787 and 1791 yet have…

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Last May, 22-year-old pianist Élisabeth Pion from Otterburn Park, Quebec, won the Shean Piano Competition in Edmonton for her performance of Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto. With this feather in her cap, she is about to embark on a Master’s at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London with Ronan O’Hora. Shortly before her departure for the U.K., Pion spoke about her world of freedom, multidisciplinarity and solitude – ingredients that seem to match her pensive look and the nonchalance of a young Martha Argerich. Talk of music quickly veers off into the autobiographical Carnets by Camus, which she is…

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At age 26, Nicolas Namoradze has had a remarkable career. He’s given recitals around the world and played with distinguished orchestras in Europe and the United States. Festivals have asked him to write works which have been played by eminent musicians. Most recently, he won first prize in the 2018 Honens Piano Competition in Calgary. Winning this competition was the stuff of dreams for Namoradze. And he thinks it came down to luck: “My teacher, Emanuel Ax, believes that competitions are like lotteries: you just have to be lucky. I certainly feel extremely lucky and I am enormously grateful.” The…

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