Albums

£16.19

Classical - To be released November 30, 2018 | Piano Classics

Booklet
£8.63

Classical - Released October 26, 2018 | Piano Classics

Booklet
£8.63

Classical - Released October 26, 2018 | Piano Classics

Booklet
£14.38
£10.79

Classical - Released September 28, 2018 | Piano Classics

Hi-Res Booklet
£8.63

Classical - Released August 31, 2018 | Piano Classics

Booklet
£8.63

Classical - Released August 31, 2018 | Piano Classics

Booklet
Punchy folkloristic suites, dances and miniatures from a musically neglected corner of Europe. There are two generations of Albanian composers represented on this invaluable guide to the country’s piano music. Simon Gjoni, Cesk Zadeja and Tonin Harapi belong to the first generation of professional composers from Albania, all born in the 1920s, studying abroad but returning to the capital and artistic hub, Tirane, to lead cultural life while the country suffered from comparative international isolation in the 1950s and 60s. It is to this later generation that Pellumb Vorpsi, Thomas Simaki and Vasil Tole belong. The Adriatic culture shared by Albania and Italy is celebrated in several bilingually titled works such as Ja gëzimi kthen përsëri (La gioia ritorna ancora) by Harapi, whose works are among the simplest, briefest and most charming on the album. At the other end of the scale, pianistically speaking, are the Lisztian Variations on a Popular Theme by Vorpsi. Even so, both composers, and most of the others, share a direct, fresh, folk-inspired mode of expression that carries with it strains of Bartók and Vaughan Williams, to name two more noted ethno musicological explorers in the early years of the last century. This album marks the debut of Marsida Koni (born 1981) on Piano Classics. An Albanian native, she grew up in her home country and made her broadcast debut at the age of just nine, and her orchestral concerto debut two years later. Having graduated from the university in Tirane, she pursued further studies in Italy, where she now makes her career. She has a recorded partnership with the clarinettist Piero Vincenti, and she is artistic director of the Lazar Berman International Piano Competition in Camerino in the Marche region of northern Italy. Due to its extreme isolation the musical development in Albania kept its own pace and direction, independent of what was happening in other countries. This new recording presents a unique overview of the music by Albanian composers of the 20th century. From the 1950's on the musical life received a new impetus in the development of musical education systems and the founding of several symphony orchestras, and composers were inspired to write in a new national style, which was rooted in the rich folk music tradition of the country. The piano music presented here is generally in traditional style, highly attractive, alternating melancholy romanticism and joyous, rhythmically vibrant folk music. Marsida Koni is one of the foremost pianists of Albania. She studied in Italy with the famous pianist and teacher Franco Scala, and she founded a Piano Academy in Perugia. © Piano Classics
£10.79

Classical - Released June 8, 2018 | Piano Classics

£10.79

Classical - Released January 3, 2018 | Piano Classics

Booklet
£6.47

Classical - Released May 25, 2018 | Piano Classics

£10.79

Classical - Released December 16, 2016 | Piano Classics

£16.19

Classical - Released October 3, 2016 | Piano Classics

£8.63

Classical - Released March 30, 2018 | Piano Classics

Booklet
£8.63

Classical - Released March 30, 2018 | Piano Classics

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released September 3, 2014 | Piano Classics

£10.79

Classical - Released February 16, 2018 | Piano Classics

Booklet
£8.63

Classical - Released February 2, 2018 | Piano Classics

Booklet
£8.63

Classical - Released February 2, 2018 | Piano Classics

Booklet
Indeed, Sergei Bortkiewicz’ (1877-1952) works are rarely to be found on record: welcome to a new album with the last two of his piano concertos, played by Romanian pianist Stefan Doniga. Bortkiewicz was born in Ukraine, and received his musical training in St Petersburg from Liadov. In 1900 he continued his study at the Leipzig Conservatory. From 1904 until 1914, he lived in Berlin where he started his career as a composer. A piano concerto opus 1 was premiered in Berlin in 1906 but later destroyed by the composer. At the outbreak of the First World War he was forced to leave Germany, and returned to Kharkov but with the end of the war came new horrors, with the Russian civil war. In 1920 he had to flee to Turkey but despite the good living conditions there, Bortkiewicz pined for Central Europe – it would be Austria as from 1922. That same year he was commissioned by the famous one-armed pianist Paul Wittgenstein to write a Piano Concerto for the left hand. As part of the deal he had to grant Wittgenstein exclusive rights of performance during the pianist’s lifetime. Because of this stipulation, Bortkiewicz’ concerto was never published and fell into oblivion after the deaths of Bortkiewicz in 1952 and Wittgenstein in 1961. In Vienna, where he had eventually obtained Austrian citizenship, Bortkiewicz composed his Piano Concerto no. 3 opus 32 “Per aspera ad astra” – ‘through resistance into light’. The melodic gifts, the instrumentation and the different functions of the piano reflect the solid workmanship of Bortkiewicz, embodied with that same pathos as the concertos of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Scriabin and Medtner. Bortkowicz had an aversion for what he called modern, atonal and cacophonous music: his work reflects little innovation compared to many of his contemporary composers, he covered no new ground, but built on the structures and sounds of Chopin and Liszt, with the unmistakable influences of early Scriabin and Rachmaninov. With unerring flair and a huge talent! © SM/Qobuz