The piano remained the main instrument of Beethoven throughout his life, and this specially priced 4-CD box set represents his entire and sizeable output for piano and orchestra, starting with the early Piano Concerto in E flat, WoO 4 – a work of tremendous energy and great technical demands, which Beethoven wrote when he was just twelve years old – and ending with Piano Concerto No. 5, the only one that Beethoven never performed himself in concert, due to his developing deafness.
The American lutenist, Hopkinson Smith, began as a teenager he began to study the classical guitar and in his early 20's, he became acquainted with the lute which he started to learn by himself. He majored in musicology at Harvard and graduated with honors in 1972. In 1973, Hopkinson Smith came to Europe to devote himself to the lute in earnest. He worked in Catalonia with Emilio Pujol, a profound pedagogue in the 19th century tradition who instilled in him a sense for higher artistic values, and in Switzerland with Eugen Dombois whose sense of happy organic unity between performer, instrument and historic period has had a lasting effect on him. From the mid 1970's, he was involved in various ensemble projects including the founding of the ensemble Hespèrion XX and a ten-year collaboration with Jordi Savall. This collaboration led to important experiences in chamber music which were a creative complement to his work as a soloist.
Known for drawing unusual sonorities from conventional instruments, Xenakis strangely left the piano's potential for novel sounds unexplored. In these works, Xenakis stays on the keyboard without so much as a plucked string or any use of gadgetry to alter the instrument's sound. Although that might make these pieces appear less radical, even "safe," Xenakis exploits every other option available.
A unique complete collection released for the first time in Los Angeles, California, the Hamazkayin Music Committee is proud to present the works of Aram Khachaturian who was the first composer to place Armenian music on the international podium. By blending his individual creativity with distinctive features common to West European art forms, the style of medieval monophony, Armenian folkloric traditions, the art of ashughs, and the purism of artistic expression of the great Komitas, Khachaturian created a new aesthetic dimension in the art of music…
A midprice reissue collecting this young French pianist s three baroque recordings. I fell in love with Tharaud s Rameau disc several years ago and never once missed the rattling sound of the harpsichord. Tharaud points out that Rameau s frequent ornamentation would have served to prolong notes on a harpsichord. This isn t necessary on a modern piano, and there s an incredible delicacy to the pianism here, with the trills and turns played with a barely credible lightness of touch. It s infectious stuff, with the witty character pieces from the Suite in G vivid and alive.