The French pianist Alexandre Kantorow, with two albums under his belt before reaching age 20, has played and recorded the music of Liszt, and he has the explosive quality the young Liszt himself must have had. Jerry Dubins of the U.S. magazine Fanfare even proclaimed Kantorow "Liszt reincarnated." That talent was more widely acknowledged when Kantorow won the gold medal at the 2019 Tchaikovksy Compeition. The son of violinist-conductor Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Alexandre was born in 1997. He has been groomed for a career as a pianist for most of his life, studying with France's top teachers including, first, Pierre-Alain Volondat. At the Schola Cantorum in Paris his teacher was Igor Lazko, and along the way he has also taken lessons with Jacques Rouvier, Théodore Paraschivesco, Georges Pludermacher, Christian Ivaldi, and Jean-Philippe Collard. Enrolling at the Paris National Conservatoire he has continued his studies with Frank Braley and Haruko Ueda, then began working with Rena Shereshevskaya at École Normale de Musique. Kantorow made his debut at 16 with the Sinfonia Varsovia in Poland, performing Rachmaninov's fearsome Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, and he made other early appearances with the Bordeaux Chamber Orchestra, the Orléans Symphony Orchestra, and the Kaunas Symphony Orchestra in Lithuania. He has won several top prizes in international competitions. Signed to the prestigious BIS label, Kantorow made his recording debut in 2015 with an album including Liszt's two piano concertos and the rarely played piano-and-strings concerto Malédiction, with the Tapiola Sinfonietta under his father's baton. He has rarely stepped into the role of his father's protégé, however. Kantorow's second album was a solo recital, À la russe, which won several awards. After that, BIS allowed Kantorow the freedom to choose what he wanted to record. His next recording was of piano concertos of Saint-Saëns, released in 2019, just prior to his appearance and win at the renowned Tchaikovsky Compeition. Kantorow established a pattern of touring widely while still a student and despite the demands of classwork, performing as far afield as Finland and South America. He was featured in the first season at Paris' new Philharmonic Hall (Philharmonie de Paris), playing Beethoven's Choral Fantasy, Op. 80. His interests extend beyond traditional repertory, and he has performed Richard Addinsell's Warsaw Concerto and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, in its original jazz band version, at French chamber music festivals.
© James Manheim /TiVo
© James Manheim /TiVo
1 album sorted by Most acclaimed and filtered by 24 bits / 44.1 kHz - Stereo
Narrow my search
Classical - Released January 3, 2020 | BIS
José Serebrier has been mostly known for his work as a conductor, stretching back to the middle of the LP era, but his compositions have earned increasing recognition, and in great old age, he has been happy to fill an increasing demand for them. This release, nominated for a 2020 Grammy Award for Best Compendium, offers a worthwhile survey of this remarkable surge of late-life creativity. The Symphonic B A C H Variations for piano and orchestra and the Flute Concerto with Tango were both commissioned for major performers, pianist Alexandre Kantorow and flutist Sharon Bezaly, respectively. The B A C H Variations and the Laments & Hallelujah for orchestra were both completed in 2018, in Serebrier's 80th year. The Variations are an attractive work, with hints of Copland, Serebrier's teacher, and perhaps Ives, and they are notable in that they reflect few influences from the long tradition of "B A C H" works (they are built on the four notes indicated by the letters of Bach's name, with H signifying B natural in the German system). The flute concerto is an impressively virtuosic work, and it may be that the flute concerto and the group of smaller works, many of them reflecting the tango of Serebrier's native Uruguay, will be of the most interest to listeners. Each one, including the marvelously titled "Tango inconclusivo" movement of the flute concerto, is different, and each, to borrow the name of one of the others, is "casi un tango" (almost a tango), with rhythmic and gestural elements of the dance form placed in new contexts. Think Astor Piazzolla's more experimental works, taken to a new level, and certainly of great interest to anyone who likes tango and is its contemporary potentials. Serebrier serves as the conductor on all of the works, leading the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and the Orquestra Simfónica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, except for the flute concerto; this has a different ensemble, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and a different conductor, Richard Tognetti. BIS does a commendable job fusing these diverse sound sources together, and overall, this is a fine new look at the recent work of an underrated composer. © TiVo