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Solo Piano - Released September 4, 2020 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama
In 2019, at the age of 22, Alexandre Kantorow became the first French pianist to win the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition. Before then he had released three acclaimed albums, awarded distinctions such as "Diapason d'or de l'Année" and Gramophone's "Editor's Choice" and earning Kantorow descriptions ranging from 'Liszt reincarnated' to 'a firebreathing virtuoso with a poetic charm and innate stylistic mastery'. The present recital, his first release since the Tchaikovsky Competition, offers plenty of scope for virtuosity, poetry and charm, always filtered through an acute stylistic consciousness. The programme is constructed around three rhapsodies, a genre whose improvisatory character corresponds perfectly with the spirit of Romanticism but here interpreted by three highly distinct artistic temperaments: Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and Béla Bartók. © BIS Records
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Classical - Released May 3, 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Diapason d'or / Arte
There has been a vogue for the music of Saint-Saëns in the late 2010s, which is all to the good, and the piano concertos especially have come in for increased exposure. It turned out that all they needed was some flair and enthusiasm; they're marvelous. This release by pianist Alexandre Kantorow, with the Tapiola Sinfonietta conducted by Jean-Jacques Kantorow (his father), stands out even among strong competition and even considering that it does not include the most popular of the five, the Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22. Saint-Saëns was paradoxical: he was a classicist who admired Liszt and was in turn admired by him. The delightful effort to reconcile Classical concerto forms with splendid virtuoso effects (the composer was one of the great pianists of his day) can be heard in all these pieces, but sample the second movement of the increasingly popular Piano Concerto No. 5 in F major, Op. 103 ("Egyptian"), where a giant, sweeping Lisztian gesture on the piano fills the role of the first theme, while the second theme is a catchy melody Saint-Saëns supposedly heard from boatmen on the Nile. All the concertos require a pianist of both grace and power, and that is what they receive at the hands of the young Alexandre Kantorow, whose background is as a Lisztian. BIS contributes superior sound from the Tapiola Concert Hall. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Solo Piano - Released May 5, 2017 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année
All kinds of hype have attended the rise of French pianist Alexandre Kantorow (son of violinist-conductor Jean-Jacques Kantorow), not yet 21 when this album was recorded in 2016 and released the following year, with one critic going so far as to call him Liszt reincarnated. One of the less splashy, but more significant developments was his signing at 17 to Sweden's BIS, not a label given to phenomena of the moment. The label does Kantorow proud with the wide dynamic range of its production at the absurdly named 4'33'' Studio in suburban Paris. You get warhorses here, with the Guido Agosti transcription of three pieces from Stravinsky's The Firebird the only pieces that could be considered remotely unusual. And you get an idea of how these pieces became warhorses in the first place. Sample the final Islamey, Op. 18, of Balakirev, of which Ravel said that his goal in composing Gaspard de la Nuit was to exceed it in difficulty. Perhaps he did, but Kantorow gets the feeling of the work's being at the edge of playability without losing its roots in the folk music of Central Asia. The Rachmaninov Piano Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 28, has breadth and power, and the two Tchaikovsky pieces from 18 Morceax, Op. 72, breathe and rock. It would appear from this recital of Russian music that Kantorow is doing just fine apart from the baton of his famous father, and that he is indeed one to watch. © TiVo
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Classical - Released August 7, 2015 | BIS

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Classical - Released January 3, 2020 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
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