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Bach: Goldberg Variations

Jean Rondeau

Solo Piano - To be released February 11, 2022 | Warner Classics

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Field : Nocturnes

Florent Albrecht

Solo Piano - Released September 17, 2021 | HORTUS

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“Unprecedented” is the right word to sum up this album entirely devoted to John Field's Nocturnes. Unprecedented because it is the first recording by Florent Albrecht, an extra-terrestrial of the pianoforte, who trained late in life after a first career in the luxury goods industry. After graduating from the Conservatoire of Geneva in 2018 and laureate of the Royaumont Foundation the same year, the French pianist has already performed at the Paris Opera and the Juilliard School, among others. An unprecedented album, as it features the world premiere of Nocturne in B flat major, posthumous Op.142, a score exhumed from the shelves of the St Petersburg library by Florent Albrecht. For the occasion, Qobuz presents this original and enchanting album exclusively for five weeks.The nocturne, a form made popular by Chopin, emerged at a time in the history of music when technical improvements in keyboard instruments enabled them to rival the expressiveness of the human voice. We do not know if it is John Field's writing talent or Florent Albrecht's fluid and airy playing—it is probably a subtle mixture of the two—but we come away from listening being convinced that the piano is the sole instrument capable of expressing the emotions of the romantic soul. The musician opts for a phrasing that is both clear and supple, perfectly suited to his instrument (a Carlo Meglio from 1826), whose rounded and slightly trembling timbre, sometimes close to a cimbalom, acts like a soothing balm for the soul. A truly calming interlude. © Pierre Lamy/Qobuz

Can You See with so Many People?

Canovass

Solo Piano - Released April 8, 2021 | Canovass

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The Weight of Gravity

Canovass

Solo Piano - Released March 19, 2021 | Canovass

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Piano e amore

Andrea Rongioletti

Solo Piano - Released March 18, 2021 | GBMUSIC

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Piano Melodies Vol. 1

Various Artists

Solo Piano - Released June 19, 2020 | Monkey Sounds

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Piano Melodies Vol. 2

Various Artists

Solo Piano - Released June 19, 2020 | Monkey Sounds

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Schubert : Impromptus, Klavierstücke, Moments Musicaux

Jörg Demus

Solo Piano - Released November 1, 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon

Distinctions Choc de Classica
In tribute to the life and art of the Viennese pianist Jörg Demus, who died in April 2019, Eloquence releases his earliest recordings of Schubert’s Impromptus and Moments Musicaux. By the time of these sessions, which took place over a week in April 1958, Demus was not yet 30 but already an experienced recording artist, having made LPs of the duet music for Westminster with his Viennese colleague Paul Badura-Skoda, as well as a Remington Records disc of the Moments musicaux and much else besides, focusing on the Austro-German repertoire of the Classical and early-Romantic eras which would make his reputation. The Deutsche Grammophon engineers captured Demus more lucidly and favourably than their rivals, and in both mono and stereo incarnations these records would stand the test of time, though they have never been reissued as a complete set on CD. Newly remastered from the original tapes, they reveal the depth of Demus’s understanding in Schubert’s music, an unfussy technique and a modesty which never seeks to impose pathos and profundity from without but which dances with a rare lightness of spirit. Born and raised in Vienna, Demus understood this music as a precursor to the popular waltzes and polkas of the Strauss family. ‘Only a complete realization and comprehension of the accompanimental rhythms – precise and yet with a slight touch of a personal accent – will in many cases create the right atmosphere.’ When he died in April 2019, one of the many affectionate Austrian obituaries referred to Demus as ‘the ballet-master of ten fingers’: a description that summed him up perfectly, as these recordings demonstrate. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)
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Cécile Ousset : The Recordings For Decca France

Cécile Ousset

Solo Piano - Released September 13, 2019 | Decca

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The early recordings of a keyboard lioness, long unavailable and new to CDNot generally given to extravagant effusions, William Glock (Controller of Radio 3 and the BBC Proms in the 1970s) had no doubt: ‘There is no one who plays the piano better in the world than she does. There is no one with a more fantastic command of the piano … not over felt, not under-felt, nothing rushed just to show off and yet the greatest playing I’ve heard for years’. He was referring to the French pianist Cécile Ousset, whose career had belatedly sparked to life and international recognition with appearances across the UK and US and a new contract with EMI Records. Yet prior to this Ousset had made several recordings since her success in the late 1950s at several major European competitions. She accumulated a considerable catalogue on Eterna, the East German label, but then Ousset signed to make recordings with Sofrason, the Société Française du Son. These were licensed for wider release by the French arm of Decca, but Sofrason went out of business in 1981 and the recordings have never been reissued – until now. This new Eloquence set includes an appreciation of Ousset’s art by the French pianophile Jean-Charles Hoffélé. These ‘French Decca’ recordings all date from 1971–76, and they include much solo repertoire that Ousset never recorded again, though they share similar qualities with the much-acclaimed concerto recordings that she made in the 1980s: an unsentimental palette of rubato and tone-colour, a fearless and brilliant command of articulation, and a uniquely French mastery of jeu perlé. The first album made an imaginative and attractive compilation of fin-de-siècle Parisians from Saint-Saëns to Satie. The second displayed her particular affinity with the Russian post-Romantics, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev; and the third coupled two landmarks of German-Romantic piano literature, by Brahms and Schumann. These all received a later international LP issue on the ‘Ace of Diamonds’ imprint and to very warm reviews. However, Ousset’s last recordings from this period encompassed the complete variations of Beethoven, issued by French Decca in two volumes (a 3LP and a 2LP box). Its disappearance particularly dismayed Ousset herself: ‘I made a big effort on that one,’ she remarked in a 1984 interview, ‘and it came off beautifully’. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)
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Chopin, Liszt & Ravel : Works for Piano

Jean Doyen

Solo Piano - Released July 5, 2019 | APR

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Schubert : Fantasy D.760, 6 Moments musicaux (Remastered)

Vladimir Feltsman

Solo Piano - Released July 5, 2019 | Sony Classical

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Chopin : 4 Ballades, Polonaise Héroïque, Polonaise Fantaisie, Nocturnes, Waltzes

Jean-Paul Gasparian

Solo Piano - Released May 17, 2019 | Evidence

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
In his first recording, Pianist Jean-Paul Gasparian had shown a healthy technique that is essential to play the music of Russian giants. But his strong play is also sensible. In his second disc that is now dedicated to Chopin, the young performer confirms these qualities. Especially in the four Ballads, true bravura pieces in which Jean-Paul Gasparian never fails. And if he shows rigor, he also gives himself the lyricism and beauty of these pages, from Nocturnes to Waltzes and Polonaises. His elegant expression and full sound make this new album a second essential milestone in the discography of the young pianist and more generally in that of Chopin. © Little Tribeca
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Schubert : Sonatas & Impromptus

András Schiff

Solo Piano - Released April 12, 2019 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
For a truly great interpretation it’s not enough just to play a historical instrument, the playing also has to be up to scratch. This recording released by the world-renowned label ECM showcases a pianist of the highest calibre playing the wonderful Viennese Brodmann piano. András Schiff captures the convergence of thought and sound remarkably well and seldom before have we been given so much insight into Schubert’s innermost thoughts. The softness and the unmistakable legato that the pianist produces on this Viennese instrument give the Sonatas D. 958 and D. 959 an indescribable feeling of nostalgia. But Schubert’s inward revolt was growing and András Schiff leads us steadily to the edge of the abyss. The crystalline sounds of the Scherzo in the Sonata D. 959 are as enchanting as the sound of ancient harpists who were so often depicted by German Romantics. This exploration into sound is also marvellous in the Impromptus D. 899 and the 3 Klavierstücke D. 946 or “Three Piano Pieces”, which have a very expressive counterpoint that differ from the unfathomable depth of the sonatas. This album is a revelation into a whole new world of sound that is unveiled as András Schiff’s fingers touch the keys. Inspiring. © François Hudry/Qobuz

Kalabis : The Complete Piano Works

Ivo Kahánek

Solo Piano - Released March 29, 2019 | Supraphon a.s.

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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The very first complete recording of Viktor Kalabis’s piano works, as well as the previous album of his three sonatas, have come to fruition upon the initiative and owing to the relentless enthusiasm of the world-renowned harpsichordist Zuzana Růžičková, the composer’s wife and a keen promoter of his oeuvre. Of major importance was the selection of the pianist – one possessing superlative technical skills and having a profound understanding of the structure of Kalabis’s music. As Ivo Kahánek put it: “Kalabis was one of the composers who don’t restrict their ideas by the traditional laws of the piano technique, hence his music is now and then extremely difficult to perform.” Even though Kalabis drew inspiration from the music of other 20th-century masters, he soon arrived at his own, singular and unique musical idiom, which is already palpable in his early opuses. The album maps more than half a century of Kalabis’s work, from the post-war Sonata No. 1 to the masterful miniatures dating from the very end of the millennium. Following the critically acclaimed recordings of his symphonic and concert pieces (Choc de Classica, Gramophone Editor’s Choice), and of the three sonatas, the present album opens yet another window into Viktor Kalabis’s fascinating musical world. © Supraphon
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Schubert

Khatia Buniatishvili

Solo Piano - Released March 15, 2019 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Beethoven Piano Sonatas, Vol. 8, No. 8 (“Pathétique”), 10, 22 & 31

Jonathan Biss

Solo Piano - Released March 15, 2019 | JB Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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The Nutcracker, Petrushka, Cinderella & The Firebird

Alexander Ullman

Solo Piano - Released March 15, 2019 | RUBICON

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The melodies on this album will be familiar to those with little exposure to classical music, or even to old cartoons. The four ballets sampled here in keyboard transcriptions by the young pianist Alexander Ullman are among the most familiar compositions of the late 19th and 20th centuries, not only in the realm of ballet, but of classical music in general. If you're looking for an album that's enjoyable to have on around the house and to inspire a young pianist, you could certainly choose this one confidently. Ullman has the virtuoso flair and sense of fun that motivated most of the transcribers, and these are quick readings, energetic but not overly flashy. You could also choose it for the variety of approaches to the venerable art of transcription that are represented here. There are four works, with transcriptions from four different transcribers of different types. The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a, of Tchaikovsky is played in a contemporary transcription by pianist Mikhail Pletnev. Of the two works by Stravinsky, the Three Movements from Petrushka were transcribed by Stravinsky himself for Arthur Rubinstein, while pieces from The Firebird were done by Guido Agosti, a student of Busoni. Prokofiev did his own transcriptions of the Six Pieces from Cinderella, Op. 102. Each set has a slightly different effect. Pletnev's aim was virtuoso display, and, as Liszt might have, he's ready to depart from the original to get it. You could sample Trepak, the Russian Dance. Stravinsky's own Petrushka transcriptions pack in detail from the orchestral version to a degree where the composer himself, a decent pianist, was unable to play the work, hence the virtuoso. Prokofiev's Cinderella versions are not so finger-breaking but aim toward the moods of the individual dances, while the Firebird versions by Agosti come out in the Romantic textures of Busoni (try the finale). The new Rubicon label does not fare too well in the Wyastone Concert Hall, giving the piano a slightly flat, harsh quality. The release can, however, be recommended in general. © TiVo
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"Abschied". C.Ph.E Bach : Fantasias, Rondos, Variations

Vittorio Forte

Solo Piano - Released March 15, 2019 | Odradek Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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The French Piano School : The Complete Studio Recordings

Lazare-Lévy

Solo Piano - Released March 1, 2019 | APR

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Prokofiev : Cinderella

Wilhem Latchoumia

Solo Piano - Released February 22, 2019 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama