Albums

390 albums sorted by Date: from newest to oldest and filtered by Solo Piano
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Solo Piano - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

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Solo Piano - Released August 31, 2018 | La Dolce Volta

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Solo Piano - Released August 17, 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Solo Piano - Released June 29, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
Released as one of nine new albums dedicated to Debussy by harmonia mundi to mark the centenary of the French composer's birth, this volume offers the Second Book of the Preludes played by Alexander Melnikov on an Erard piano. The world of Debussyan piano relied so heavily on timbre that pianists and editors alike often prefer one or another make so as to get a grip on the specificities of the music. Alexander Melnikov is one of those rare Russian artists to take an interest in ancient instruments. This student of Sviatoslav Richter was quickly captivated by this kind of work, working with Andreas Staier and Alexey Lubimov and playing with specialised ensembles like the Concerto Köln or the Berlin Akademie für Alte Musik. His performance of the Preludes by Debussy at London's Wigmore Hall was particularly well received by critics who described the Russian pianist as a "sorcerer" who is highlighting "ravishing", "violent", "terrifying" music. An iridescent orchestral masterpiece, La Mer is difficult to boil down to a four-handed piano piece, and Debussy disowned his transcription, leaving it to André Caplet to prepare another one for two four-handed pianos. Alexandre Melnikov and Olga Pashchenko have taken up the challenge to prove that the auteur's transcription is not at all "unplayable". © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released June 22, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
It's on a big Fazioli piano, recorded in a public concert in 2017, that Vadym Kholodenko – gold medallist at the prestigious Van Cliburn Competiton – offers us a journey through the fascinating, sometimes unsettling, always vivid, world of Scriabin. The programme follows the compositions in chronological order: we start with some harmonically almost "well-behaved" works, which still bear the marks of Chopin and Rachmaninov, moving gradually towards total liberation from any audible tonality in the form of Vers la flamme from 1914 – one of Scriabin's last pieces – a hair-raising firework display on the piano in the form of an inexorable, almost orgasmic, crescendo. Between these two poles, Kholodenko offers several series of Preludes and Études, two Sonatas – the 4th from 1903 and the 5th from 1907, representing the transition in the composer's style – and isolated piece with evocative titles such as the Poème tragique and the Poème satanique. It's a fine journey, at the end of which the listener will feel both full and emptied-out! © SM/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released June 15, 2018 | InFiné

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Solo Piano - Released June 1, 2018 | Nimbus Alliance

Booklet
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Solo Piano - Released May 25, 2018 | Le Palais des Dégustateurs

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Solo Piano - Released May 4, 2018 | Challenge Classics

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
This is the third album for Challenge Classics from the excellent Israeli pianist Einav Yarden, who, having made the most of the world of Haydn, and before that Beethoven and Stravinsky, is now taking on the most complex figure in early German romanticism, Robert Schumann, by way of a repertoire that is in part fairly original (Drei Fantasiestücke Op. 111 to start) but also well-trodden (Fantasie Op. 17, Waldszenen) by his fellow musicians. The tough competition should not distract you, however, from this musician, who is still little known in these parts, a student of Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Conservatory, much beloved of Elisso Virsaladze, and who first trained in Israel. His performances of Schumann set themselves apart with their striving for structural clarity and ample phrasing, which sometimes presages Brahms, rather than a drive for lyricism or for sweetly febrile poetry. © Théodore Grantet/Qobuz The three works on this album span a period of fifteen years – years in which the young Schumann suffered forcible separation from his beloved Clara, followed by their marriage and a brief period of relative calm, to the increasing bouts of mental instability which were to close him off from the world around him until his death. The piano Fantasiestücke op. 111 was composed in 1851 during a time of deteriorating mental health and increasing disillusionment with his post as Music Director of the Düsseldorf Music Society. In contrast to the youthfully extrovert Fantasiestücke op. 12 of 1837, these three untitled pieces are “of a serious and passionate character”, as Clara described them, their bold harmonies intensifying their expressivity. The Fantasie in C major op. 17 is one of Schumann’s most powerful large-scale piano works, composed during the bitter period of his enforced separation from Clara. Schumann completed his cycle of nine forest piano miniatures, Waldszenen, in 1849, while struggling with increasing bouts of mental instability and depression. Each piece is headed by a descriptive title. These masterly tone paintings display Schumann’s genius in creating miniature images consummate in expression, characterisation and mood. © Challenge Classics
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Solo Piano - Released April 20, 2018 | Orfeo

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The church bells that he heard aged four, walking in the streets of Zurich with his parents, were the point of departure for the young Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi who still remembers this moment as a shock that violently brought home the power of music. The sonic beauty and harmonic richness in the tolling of the bells set something off in his unconscious, sparking a lifelong quest for the timbres and sonorities that he is so deft at bringing to life on his piano. At the age of five, he tried to reproduce the sound of the bells on a little toy piano; at twelve, he played Grieg's Concerto in A Minor and started to perform in public. But two years later he became aware of the limits of his technical abilities and also of the strange tensions wracking his body. His encounter with the pianist Cécile Ousset was decisive. He re-learned his entire technique and turned to face his career with renewed confidence. Just like in a fairy tale, one day he received a letter from Alfred Brendel who had heard him by chance on the radio, and asked to work with him. After spending a whole hour on the first lines of Beethoven's Fourth Concerto, the young man would work on his whole repertoire with the great master, whom he would regularly visit in London. Later Murray Perahia would teach him the structures of a work, so he could build his own interpretations. Today, Francesco Piemontesi has become a master in his own right, playing all over the world with the greatest orchestras; he was also the musical director of the Ascona Music Weeks, where he heard all the greatest pianists of his youth. The Ticinese worked for a long time with Brendel to bring his Liszt to maturity, which allowed him to offer up this fine recording of the Première Année de pèlerinage, dedicated to his native Switzerland, which he knows so well. This new recording doesn't conjure up an image of Piemontesi as the superficial virtuoso, but rather of Liszt as a great creator of innovative harmonies, who would have so much influence on the generations that followed him. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released April 20, 2018 | Daphne Records

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Solo Piano - Released April 13, 2018 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Special Soundchecks
Among the many young talents which are currently developing on the musical scene, a select few are particularly spellbinding. One of these is Florian Noack whose generosity and solar brilliance shine through from the very first listening. His vivaciousness and curiosity are thrilling and infectious. His "twenty-five" fingers gallop marvellously across the keyboard. And most important of all, his sincerity and humility command respect.  A traveller to the heart of national folk musics, he shares in their unique flavours, by turns exquisite and powerful; he sometimes offers his own unique arrangements... Pianist Florian Noack invites us here on a stunning musical adventure: his first recording for La Dolce Volta, after several albums for Ars Produktion and Artalinna. Florian Noack's album is structured around dance: Brahms, Grieg, Schubert, Rachmaninov, Szymanowski, Komitas, Janáček, Nín, Martucci, Grainger, for a virtuous, poetical and intimate sequence. Florian Noack deploys all the range of his talent to bring us the quintessence of these pieces, which in other hands would seem banal. This is an utterly charming album, which will not leave anyone indifferent: that's for sure! © La Dolce Volta
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Solo Piano - Released April 6, 2018 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Following his beautiful complete collection of Brahms’ works for Chandos – a highly recommended collection, even more satisfying than Plowright’s for BIS or Geoffroy Couteau’s for La Dolce Volta −, pianist Barry Douglas continues his phonographic adventures with Schubert. This third Schubert volume features the first of his last three sonatas in C minor titled D. 958, which was once one of Sviatoslav Richter’s hobby horses, who fully embraced its experimental nature and hallucinated blow. Douglas’ gestures are perfectly balanced, very natural, and he offers a vision exempt from madness, but not lacking in lyricism, reminiscent at times of Wilhelm Kempff or Ingrid Schaebler. A second large-scale corpus, the Six moments musicaux, D. 780 are defended by Barry Douglas with a rather restrained tempo (No. 4) to perfectly highlight all its polyphonic details and overall structure. At times, the performance feels oddly closer to Brahms… A must listen! © Théodore Grantet/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released March 29, 2018 | Les Indispensables de Diapason

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Solo Piano - Released March 23, 2018 | Rubicon Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Solo Piano - Released March 16, 2018 | Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Solo Piano - Released February 23, 2018 | Fuga Libera

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
For his fourth release on the Fuga Libera label, the pianist and fortepianist Piet Kuijken, professor at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and the Antwerp Conservatory, presents a programme of music by Ludwig van Beethoven. The starting point of this double album is an artistic approach that is both pedagogical and musical: the first part contains pieces such as the Sonate Pathétique and the Sonata op.110 performed on a historical piano (a Tomkison original from 1808), while the second invites you to compare this with pieces of the same magnitude – the Appassionata Sonata and the imposing op.111, amongst others – played on a modern piano. A text written by the eminent musician invites you to follow the artist’s approach, within the same type of repertory when faced with these two different instruments. A sensitive and interesting album to help you discover all the different facets of this artist! © Fuga Libera/Outhere
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Solo Piano - Released February 16, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Unfortunately no, dear reader, there is no such thing as a cycle of “24 Preludes” by Rachmaninoff; however there are indeed 24 Preludes: a collection of ten Op. 23 from 1903, 13 other Op. 32 from 1910 and one isolated Prelude from the Morceaux de fantaisie Op. 3 (Fantasy Pieces) from 1893. In total: 24 Preludes, in which as a simple count shows Rachmaninoff − much like Chopin and of course Bach − illustrated all major and minor tones. Deliberately random, or the involuntary drive to create a reasonably coherent cycle? Contrary to his two illustrious predecessors, Rachmaninoff didn’t order his Preludes according to a specific tonal plan: the musician’s fantasy develops bit by bit. Nikolai Lugansky – described by the famous magazine Gramophone as “the most innovative and transcendent interpreter of all” (so much for the others…), truly an extraordinarily deep and polyvalent pianist – decided to present the Preludes in the order prescribed by partitions, rather than reorganising them according to some hypothetical tonal logic, without knowing if Rachmaninoff would even have recommended or even considered it, particularly as the constant alternation of moods, independently of any tonal consideration, gives the piece a sense of perfect coherence. Finally it’s worth mentioning that Lugansky offers a very “original” interpretation of this divine music, which may feel like a re-discovery to some listeners. © SM/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released February 9, 2018 | JB Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
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Solo Piano - Released February 9, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Record of the Month - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
Oh no, no, no: this is absolutely not a re-release of one of the many recordings which Murray Perahia made of Beethoven over the decades. This here is something completely new, made in 2016 and 2017, of two radically contrasting sonatas: the Fourteenth of 1801, which Rellstab nicknamed "Clair de lune" in 1832, while Beethoven merely dubbed it Quasi una fantasia, and the Twenty Ninth of 1819, Große Sonate für das Hammerklavier, written after several barren years. Perhaps, consciously or not, Perahia has coupled two works, one "before" and the other "after" - after all, he himself has known his fair share of fallow years, following a hand injury which removed him from the stage from 1990 to 2005. Whether or not it's true, it's certainly tempting to imagine. Either way, like Beethoven, Perahia made a storming return, as shown in this recent performance, in which vigour alternates with moments of intense introspection, always impeccably phrased and articulated, and deeply musical. Clearly all those years in which he concentrated almost exclusively on the works of Bach as a training regime while he waited for recovery seem to have in fact been immensely fruitful. © SM/Qobuz