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Igor Levit - Life

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Life

Igor Levit

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Pianist Igor Levit moved from Russia to Germany when he was eight, but there's still a lot of Russian in his outlook: an attraction to the pure virtuoso tradition, and a tendency toward big statements and the big questions. Nowhere has this been more true than on Life, an album that succeeds both thematically and as a thrilling embodiment of late-Romantic pianism at its best. The title, and the contents, refer to the album's memorial function: Levit chose the program to honor a close artist friend who died in an accident. The music is monumental enough to live up to its death-haunted theme, rising out of silence in the Fantasia after J.S. Bach of Busoni and continuing with a remarkably sustained mood of soberness and dignity, punctuated by frenetic outbursts. Busoni is one major presence on the program; the other is Liszt, and the two come together in the Busoni transcription of the Fantasy and Fugue on the Chorale Ad nos, ad salutarem undam of Liszt, originally for organ and an impressive virtuoso task on the piano. So the program works well also as a revival of pure late-Romantic pianism: you can easily imagine that Liszt would have loved this, and loved to play it. A third theme interweaving the works on the program is that of reinterpretation, as in the Brahms transcription of the Chaconne from the Bach Partita for solo violin in D minor, BWV 1004; the fact that Levit has played these works in different orderings in recital testifies to the program's remarkable cohesiveness. There is music by Frederic Rzewski in a memorial vein, and Bill Evans' serene Peace Piece is a lovely conclusion. Bravo!

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Life

Igor Levit

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Fantasia after J. S. Bach, BV 253 (Ferruccio Busoni)

1
Fantasia after J. S. Bach, BV 253 00:14:33

Igor Levit, Piano - Ferruccio Busoni, Composer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment

Chaconne from Partita for Solo Violin No. 2, BWV 1004 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

2
Chaconne from Partita for Solo Violin No. 2, BWV 1004 (Transcription for Piano) 00:13:51

Igor Levit, Piano - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Johannes Brahms, Transcriber - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment

Variations in E-Flat Major on an Original Theme "Ghost Variations" (Robert Schumann)

3
Variations in E-Flat Major on an Original Theme "Ghost Variations" 00:11:24

Igor Levit, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment

Dreams (Frederic Rzewski)

4
Part 1 : III. A Mensch 00:10:15

Igor Levit, Piano - Frederic Rzewski, Composer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment

Solemn March to the Holy Grail from Parsifal, S 450 (Richard Wagner)

5
Solemn March to the Holy Grail from Parsifal, S 450 (Transcription for Piano) 00:11:17

Igor Levit, Piano - Richard Wagner, Composer - Franz Liszt, Transcriber - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment

Fantasia and Fugue on the Chorale "Ad nos, ad salutarem undam", S 259 (Transcription for Piano) (Franz Liszt)

6
I. Fantasia 00:09:59

Igor Levit, Piano - Franz Liszt, Composer - Ferruccio Busoni, Transcriber - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment

7
II. Adagio 00:13:36

Igor Levit, Piano - Franz Liszt, Composer - Ferruccio Busoni, Transcriber - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment

8
III. Fuga 00:09:49

Igor Levit, Piano - Franz Liszt, Composer - Ferruccio Busoni, Transcriber - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment

Isoldens Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde, S 447 (Richard Wagner)

9
Isoldens Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde, S 447 (Transcription for Piano) 00:07:47

Igor Levit, Piano - Richard Wagner, Composer - Franz Liszt, Transcriber - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment

Elegies, BV 249 (Ferruccio Busoni)

10
VII. Berceuse 00:05:14

Igor Levit, Piano - Ferruccio Busoni, Composer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment

Peace Piece (Bill Evans)

11
Peace Piece 00:06:13

Igor Levit, Piano - Bill Evans, Composer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment

Albumbeschreibung

Pianist Igor Levit moved from Russia to Germany when he was eight, but there's still a lot of Russian in his outlook: an attraction to the pure virtuoso tradition, and a tendency toward big statements and the big questions. Nowhere has this been more true than on Life, an album that succeeds both thematically and as a thrilling embodiment of late-Romantic pianism at its best. The title, and the contents, refer to the album's memorial function: Levit chose the program to honor a close artist friend who died in an accident. The music is monumental enough to live up to its death-haunted theme, rising out of silence in the Fantasia after J.S. Bach of Busoni and continuing with a remarkably sustained mood of soberness and dignity, punctuated by frenetic outbursts. Busoni is one major presence on the program; the other is Liszt, and the two come together in the Busoni transcription of the Fantasy and Fugue on the Chorale Ad nos, ad salutarem undam of Liszt, originally for organ and an impressive virtuoso task on the piano. So the program works well also as a revival of pure late-Romantic pianism: you can easily imagine that Liszt would have loved this, and loved to play it. A third theme interweaving the works on the program is that of reinterpretation, as in the Brahms transcription of the Chaconne from the Bach Partita for solo violin in D minor, BWV 1004; the fact that Levit has played these works in different orderings in recital testifies to the program's remarkable cohesiveness. There is music by Frederic Rzewski in a memorial vein, and Bill Evans' serene Peace Piece is a lovely conclusion. Bravo!

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