Born in Brussels, Belgium, but raised in Israel, pianist Edna Stern began taking lessons at age 6 and became a student of Viktor Derevenko at the Rubin Academy in Tel Aviv. After a return to Brussels, Stern worked with Martha Argerich, then moved to Basel in 1996 to study with Krystian Zimerman. Attendance at master classes led by Alicia de Larrocha, Andreas Staier, and Leon Fleisher at the International Piano Foundation inspired to her to follow Fleisher to the Peabody Institute. In 2003, Stern moved to Paris, where she began playing the fortepiano and started to develop her distinctive approach to historically informed period performances. Stern's repertoire has run the gamut from the music of J.S. Bach to contemporary keyboard works, and she has played on many different pianos in accordance with the stylistic and historic needs of the music. An example of this is Stern's 2010 album of Chopin's solo piano works, which she played on the 1842 Pleyel piano in the collection of the Musée de la Musique, Paris.
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Solo Piano - Released January 22, 2009 | Zig-Zag Territoires
Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
Young Israeli pianist Edna Stern has already recorded one album of what might be called extreme Bach arrangements, called Chaconne. This group of preludes and fugues, together with chorale-based pieces by Bach and (in a mysteriously single case) Brahms, is in its way even more extreme than the earlier release, in that Stern is mostly playing Bach's own notes. The three Bach chorales appear in arrangements by Ferruccio Busoni, and it is Busoni that provides the model for Stern's playing even where he is not present. It's not just that Stern plays a modern piano. The preludes and fugues of The Well-Tempered Clavier, for her, each have their own particular moods, calling forth an entirely different pianistic approach. Tempo is flexible; articulation is varied and often luxuriously legato; the pedal is more or less constantly in action. Bach hasn't been played like this since the days of Russian pianist Samuil Feinberg, who perhaps was part of or close to Stern's pianistic family tree. One thing Stern adds to the style is an emphasis on bass lines, giving the music an organ-like texture. Is it Bach? Only partially; the rest of it is the Romantic adoration of the Baroque. Is it compellingly musical? Depends on your perspective. Plunge in anywhere to sample and determine whether you're on this remarkable young artist's wavelength. The Zig Zag Territoires label's studio sound captures every smear of Stern's pedals.
Solo Piano - Released February 3, 2017 | Orchid Classics
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