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Keyboard Concertos - To be released November 20, 2020 | Piano 21

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Keyboard Concertos - To be released November 13, 2020 | Piano 21

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Keyboard Concertos - Released October 23, 2020 | Piano 21

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Keyboard Concertos - Released October 16, 2020 | Piano 21

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Composed simultaneously in February 1785, Concertos K. 466 and K. 467 are virtually twin works, but dissimilar twins. His recent masonic experience may well have rubed off on Mozart’s creativity, for we can detect, dare I say it, “live”, a sudden deepening of his comprehension of the human tragedy in the first movement of Concerto K. 466 in D Minor, along with K. 491 in C Minor the only concertos in minor key. The breathless syncopes at the very beginning seem to anticipate Schubertian “Angst” in the face of the inexorable approach of death. Introspection bore Mozart towards the heights of expressive maturity. He was able to attain a degree of calmness in the Romanze, albeit interrupted by an agitated interlude. The final movement brings this masterpiece to a conquering, joyful conclusion. In contrast, in its first movement, the optimism of Concerto K. 467 expresses the need for bravery to maintain the grandeur of humanity notwithstanding the various inroads made by failing courage to gain the ascendancy without ever achieving it. The highly celebrated, divine Andante is in and of itself a purifying panacea. Truly, an angel passes. The derisive tone of the Finale is surprising but it brings us back to earth, perhaps to remind us that there is much work to be done before we can ascend to the Olympus of Spirituality and that, in the meantime, we should partake of earthly pleasures! © Cyprien Katsaris/Piano 21
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Keyboard Concertos - Released September 25, 2020 | Piano 21

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Keyboard Concertos - Released September 18, 2020 | Piano 21

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Keyboard Concertos - Released September 11, 2020 | Piano 21

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Keyboard Concertos - Released July 24, 2020 | Piano 21

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Keyboard Concertos - Released July 17, 2020 | Piano 21

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Keyboard Concertos - Released July 10, 2020 | Piano 21

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Chamber Music - Released July 3, 2020 | Piano 21

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Ever imagined an entire programme devoted to marrying the sounds of the harp and the piano? Yes, of course there is quite a comprehensive repertoire for these two instruments, but, to be honest, not many of their works retain much significance. Years later, a young French composer, Régis Chesneau (born 1986), took an interest in this unusual instrumental pairing; working from three of his arrangements, the harpist Isabelle Courret – sometime soloist at La Scala in Milan – and the pianist Cyprien Katsaris have devised this surprising programme, a veritable journey through centuries. This recital begins with two extracts from Suite No. 1 for Two Pianos, Op. 5 by Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), namely Nos. 2 and 3. In this recording, Isabelle Courret and Cyprien Katsaris alternate the playing of the two piano parts to exploit the scope provided by the harp. A piece well overdue for rediscovery, the impressive Concerto for Harp Op. 182 by Carl Reinecke (1824-1910) is one of the foundation stones for this instrument’s repertoire. It was composed in Leipzig in 1884, dedicated to Edmund Schuecker (1860-1911), an exact contemporary of Gustav Mahler. Isabelle Courret and Cyprien Katsaris continue their journey with two movements from Histoire du Tango by Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992). In this suite of four pieces written in 1986, originally for flute and guitar, Astor Piazzolla aspired to present to us his own account of the tango, from the “bordellos” of Argentina in the early 20th century through to modern concert halls. There follow the three pieces by Régis Chesneau. Composed for Cyprien Katsaris and Isabelle Courret in 2015, the two neotonal Contemplations are both contrasting and complementary. Impreso (impression in Esperanto) is in the neoclassical style, recalling French music of the early 20th century. Arranged in five movements in simple numerical order (to avoid influencing the listener), Tableaux was written in 2016 at the request of Cyprien Katsaris, especially for this recording. The programme for this recording ends with Isaac Albéniz’s Pavana-Capricho, played here in the composer’s own arrangement for piano with four hands. Published in 1884, this Pavana-Capricho is imbued with popular Spanish rhythms. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Piano 21
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Chamber Music - Released June 26, 2020 | Piano 21

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Classical - Released May 1, 2020 | Piano 21

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In the 1980s, Cyprien Katsaris lit up the discographic landscape with his recording for Teldec of the complete nine symphonies of Beethoven in the superlative transcriptions of Franz Liszt, a landmark undertaking. At the dawn of the festivities marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, the Franco-Cypriot pianist is offering us another bold project, a six-disc box set dedicated entirely to the Master of Bonn. This chronological “Beethovenian Odyssey” is comprised of particularly rare original works and transcriptions. It begins and ends with his very first and last works, enabling us to steep ourselves in the world of Beethoven and, by virtue of the solo piano, to troll through forty years of a creative life that left a deep impression on the history of music. So, the journey begins with the Variations on a Theme of Dressler, composed by a twelve-year-old adolescent, heavily influenced by Mozart and Haydn, followed by the very first sonata composed by Beethoven a few months later, not the Sonata in D Minor, Op. 2, No. 1, written more than ten years later (also in this box set, further on), cited as the first in the catalogue of the composer’s works, but another, fairly short piece, in E-Flat Major, that of the future “Emperor”, the first of three “sonatas” composed between 1782 and 1783 and dedicated to the Prince-Elector of Cologne, Maximilian Francis of Austria. Then follows an almost unknown work, the Two Preludes Op. 39, surprisingly experimental. Throughout this box-set journey, Cyprien Katsaris has no qualms about visiting works that are seldom played, in keeping with the watchword for his Piano 21 label: he plays what he loves, with an ever-fresh sense of sharing and curiosity. Thus he unveils for us a solo piano arrangement for the “Spring” and “Kreutzer” sonatas for piano and violin, the slow movements of the Sixth and Sixteenth Quartets of Saint-Saëns and Mussorgsky, and the slow movement of Ninth Symphony in the Wagner’s arrangement. These transcriptions also shed light on a number of major figures of the musical world of the XIXth Century in Europe, sometimes forgotten (Louis Winkler, Gustav Roesler), sometimes neglected (Carl Czerny, Anton Diabelli) and attest to the radiant, irresistible aura of Beethoven’s genius for at least a century. Cyprien Katsaris certainly shares quantities of unpublished material here, but he does not neglect the more renowned side of Beethoven’s works, including in this programme eight of the thirty-eight sonatas (not least the most famous “Clair de Lune”, “The Tempest” and “Appassionata”). Everything you ever wanted to know about the greatness of Beethoven but never dared to ask can truly be found here. © Piano21
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Classical - Released February 15, 2018 | Piano 21

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Classical - Released January 5, 2018 | Piano 21

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