Pianist, chamber musician, and educator Cicilia Yudha presents her Navona Records release SELECTED PIANO WORKS BY ROBERT CASADESUS AND HENRI DUTILLEUX, featuring her expertise as a solo pianist, as well as the exploration of the compositions of Robert Casadesus. Yudha’s skillful approach is demonstrated in the opening piece, Sonata No. 3, Op. 44, which has an energetic and rhythmically exciting first movement followed by a vibrant second movement, which exhibits a slow and reflective texture. Yudha brings a Casadesus’ quintessential style to life, highlighting the vibrant and lively first movement and showcasing the contrasting slow and reflective mood found in the second movement. Toccata, Op. 40 is brimming with youthful energy as the prolific 20th–century composer pushes this baroque style forward. Yudha brings this piece to life and makes it breathe with a creative, almost improvisational quality. Under the demands of this high tempo exploration, she shows her brilliance in bringing out every nuance of the piece and affirms its underlying grace and dignity.
The three pieces Blackbird, Au gré des ondes, and Sonate pour piano demonstrate the works of Henri Dutilleux, more often known for composing for orchestra, delving here into solo piano music. Yudha’s focus onto these pieces bring an already prominent 20th–century composer into a different light. The first piece Blackbird is brief and was written more as a student piece, yet it is still an interesting interlude that also seems to address Dutilleux’s love for birds. Au gré des ondes is a collection of six short pieces that originally acted as interludes for French Radio. Each piece provides a new and exciting character to the larger work, such as the scherzando feel in Claquettes. The final piece on the recording Sonate pour piano is Yudha’s conception of Dutilleux’s real affirmation for the piano. Through this piece Yudha pays tribute to the musical legacy that came before her in a work that embodies Western tonal music as well as the French legacy of music with influences from composers such as Debussy and Ravel. Yudha internalizes all these aspects, synthesizes them and reproduces them gracefully with the piano as her medium.