The famous Russian pianist-composer, who became an American citizen in 1958, was as well known in 1930s Paris as Stravinsky and heir to a number of Slav cultures in Europe and Asia. In the course of long visits, he also analysed the music of the Far East (China, Japan, Korea…), endeavouring to find a common language in the various folklores he discovered.
Chopin, Piano Concertos No. 1 and 2, performed by pianist Sa Chen and the Gulbenkian Orchestra Lisbon, Lawrence Foster, conductor (Pentatone Classics). Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra followers will remember Sa Chen from a year ago. In October 2007, she joined the orchestra for an unusual work, a piano concerto by Clara Schumann. Chen looks about 12 on her album cover here, but she's 29. She is a promising pianist.
A versatile pianist who has worked with singers, symphony orchestras, and jazz groups, David Budway, also has worked with drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts and Hubert Laws, in addition to recording several self-issued CDs prior to this Maxjazz release. With Watts and bassist Eric Revis as his rhythm section mates, Budway's session is filled with striking, thoughtful originals and well-conceived settings of familiar works. Marcus Strickland guests on soprano sax for his turbocharged "Japanese Brunch," which is marked by its tense post-bop rhythm and the leader's darting piano. Branford Marsalis is the soprano saxophonist for Budway's melancholy "Lonely Cane," a spacious ballad with an emotional impact.
Stéphanie Moraly débute le violon à l’âge de 6 ans et fait montre d’un talent précoce. Élève de Suzanne Gessner au CRR de Paris, elle remporte son premier concours à 10 ans et, à 11, donne son premier récital, obtient le Premier Prix du Concours Jeunes Prodiges Mozart et se produit en soliste aux Théâtres des Champs-Elysées et du Châtelet à Paris, ainsi qu’à Prague. A 16 ans, elle entre au Conservatoire de Paris dans la classe de Sylvie Gazeau, en sort avec un Premier Prix à 19, et part ensuite se perfectionner avec Michèle Auclair au New England Conservatory de Boston.
Schubert’s two Piano Trios are amongst his greatest works, contrasted both within themselves and between each other although written within weeks of each other. The B flat has a superficially contented character at the start, but even here clouds seem to come across the sky at increasingly frequent intervals. The E flat is a more obviously dramatic work throughout, and the curiously ambiguous march of the slow movement is surely some of the most inspired music Schubert ever wrote.
These readings of Fauré's two late piano quintets by the Schubert Ensemble of London are paradoxical. The group's performances are strong-willed and purposeful in the outer movements, particularly in the C minor Quintet's ever accelerating Finale, yet soft-focused and sensuous in the central slow movements, especially the D minor Quintet's deeply dolorous Adagio. The tone changes from robustly incisive to sweetly sonorous, the ensemble from vigorously muscular to smoothly refined, and the rhythms from sharply accented to softly undulating.