Browsing: Piano

Chopin : Préludes Op. 28; Andante spianato et Grande polonaise brillante Op. 22 Charles Richard-Hamelin, piano Analekta AN 2 9146 ★★★✩✩ Several months after praising his Mozart concertos to the skies, I must register some disappointment with Charles Richard-Hamelin’s most recent outing on the Analekta label. Chopin’s Préludes Op. 28 – monumental in their entirety, fascinating in their fragmentary parts – require a more individual outlook than this. The opening C Major prelude (marked Agitato) sounds nondescript and several others are stripped of their “molto” and “assai” modifiers. The little ballet that is No. 7 in A Major seems to lurch to…

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“I think 100 is a good number,” Isolde Lagacé said, referencing the tally of concerts presented by Bourgie Hall in 2021-2022, up from 53 in its inaugural season 10 years ago. “To have 100 concerts, in every style, and of good quality.” A good number? More like astonishing given the array of alternatives that exist in Montreal and the challenges still posed by the pandemic. Not many chamber rooms in Canada can claim such a sum, which rises to 141 when rentals are taken into account. Or perhaps the numbers are both surprising and predictable at once, given the steady…

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FORT WORTH, Texas, August 31, 2021—The Cliburn is pleased to announce that individual tickets will go on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. CT, September 1, for the sixteenth edition of its flagship Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, to be held entirely in person on June 2–18, 2022, at Bass Performance Hall and Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU, in Fort Worth, Texas, USA. All individual tickets will be available online at Cliburn.org or by telephone at 817.212.4280 starting at 10:00 a.m. Subscription packages remain on sale including premium, complete, and individual round subscriptions at Cliburn.org/2022-tickets. Patrons must be 10 years or older to attend. TICKET INFORMATION INDIVIDUAL TICKETS Earlier than…

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The German-Japanese pianist, a trophy artist on Deutsche Grammophon, is facing the onset of multiple sclerosis with courage, positivism and ingenuity. On her tenth album she seeks to give the preludes of Frederic Chopin a contemporary twist by interleaving them with some of her favourite modern composers. Her daring approach changes the colouring of some of the Chopin so that certain preludes sound like shards of Philip Glass that got left on the mixing desk – not that Glass is present in the mix. The composers she chooses are compellingly more eclectic. There is the Italian Francesco Tristano, who reimagines…

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One of the perils of the Covid period is the forgetfulness . We no longer remember the physical thrill of hearing a favourite work and recordings sometimes fail to deliver that visceral satisfaction. Here’s an exception. Shostakovich wrote his first concerto for himself to play and the second for his son, Maxim. The degree of difficulty is relative; neither was a virtuoso pianist. The writing is rich in orchestral texture and, in the first work, amounts could almost be a trumpet concerto. The second piano trio, written in wartime, is a lament for the sufferings of Jewish citizens under Hitler and…

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Orchestre philharmonique et choeur des mélomanes 2021-2022 season includes Alain Lefèvre playing Mathieu’s Concerto de Québec Montreal, July 29, 2021 – The seventh season of the Orchestre Philharmonique et Chœur des Mélomanes (OPCM) includes pianist Alain Lefèvre as soloist in André Mathieu’s Concerto de Québec. This is one of three concerts in the Maison symphonique under the direction of Francis Choinière. “I have always been keen to support the next generation and it is with enthusiasm that I accepted the invitation of the young conductor Francis Choinière to present this gem,” Lefèvre said, referring to the concerto, a work he was instrumental…

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It takes more than just technical chops to pull off two-piano repertoire. Like tennis, piano doubles require simpatico energy, a similar mindset, complementary skills and, given the sheer number of notes involved, a kind of sixth sense for what your partner is doing. It’s no wonder so many of the world’s most successful piano duets have been siblings or spouses. On the other hand, with almost 10 feet of distance between keyboards, it’s an ensemble tailor-made for a pandemic. David Jalbert and Wonny Song have been friends and co-performers for several years. As two of the best Canadian pianists of…

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CALGARY, AB, June 17, 2021—The Honens International Piano Competition announces the 2022 edition schedule, which was postponed from 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 50 Quarterfinalists chosen to participate in the Competition remain in place for 2022, as will the juries and collaborating artists, where possible. Quarterfinalists hail from 18 different countries. The Quarterfinals take place in Frankfurt (March 14 to 17) and New York (March 24 to 26). In this round, each of the 50 selected pianists performs a 40-minute self-programmed solo recital and completes an interview with an arts journalist. All performances are recorded on video for…

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The Bergen International Festival takes its “international” modifier seriously. There are offerings in various genres and many that could be classified as experimental. The American Moth, to choose one of the signature 2021 presentations, is described as a “multi-media performance combining dance, theatre in multiple languages and cinematic live video” in the interests of exploring “the sympathies and resentments at play in inter-generational relationships.” Well, having enjoyed my Grieg last week from the Bergen Philharmonic, I chose to keep it simple and hear a recital in the living room of Troldhaugen, the composer’s villa on the outskirts of town. Of course…

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Before and after. Who now does not think in these terms? Many music lovers, for obvious reasons, feel nostalgia for the former and disdain for the latter. Yet there I was, sitting at my dining room table and experiencing, in real time, a concert from the Bergen International Festival. The technology to make such minor miracles happen existed long before the onset of the pandemic but clearly the shutdown last year of public events gave a tremendous impetus to the use of the Internet (and in my case, a seven-year-old laptop) as a means of disseminating and receiving the lively…

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