Praised for her "boldly inflected readings" (Jeremy Eichler, New York Times), "powerful technique" (Allan Kozinn, New York Times), and "purely pianistic panache" (Richard Dyer, Boston Globe), New York-based pianist Beth Levin has honed her interpretive and expressive skills since her days as a child prodigy in Philadelphia.
THE KEY OF C-SPAN, Vol. 1 is the premiere release of the digital music collections featuring works from PARMA Recordings' audio catalog which have been used in C-SPAN's programming. PARMA and C-SPAN's collaborative relationship stems back to January 2013, when the two companies teamed up on C-SPAN series First Ladies: Influence & Image, for which PARMA produced a customized theme song. In May 2013, PARMA signed on as C-SPAN's music provider, placing content from its audio catalog across the network's original programming, promotions, and Senate quorum calls.
When listening to keyboardist Patrick Hawkins playing an 1831 William Geib square piano on his debut Navona Records release, HAYDN AND THE ENGLISH LADY, one can imagine men and women in elegant silk gowns and suits gathered in an opulently decorated drawing room of an 18th-century English estate. This collection of piano works by Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) and Maria Hester Park (1760-1813) illustrate the diversity and refinement of Classical repertoire.
The regions of Austria and Hungary have a rich history of music, art, and culture, where composers such as Beethoven, Artur Schnabel, and Emanuel Moór, among many others, developed their craft and influenced the traditions of European art music. On his debut release on Navona Records, CELLO MUSIC FROM AUSTRIA-HUNGARY, cellist Sam Magill presents works by Beethoven, Schnabel, and Moór that not only expand the cello repertoire and illustrate the cellist’s virtuosity, technical aplomb, conviction, and expressiveness, but enrich our understanding of these composers, their music, and their heritage.
In this stunning tour through the concerti of Beethoven’s early and middle periods, pianist Eliane Rodrigues captivates her listeners with graceful keyboard virtuosity, accompanied by the renowned St. Petersburg State Orchestra, Maestro Walter Proost at the podium. The technicality is so precise, the performance so true to period, that one might think the composer himself was at the piano.
“Music is a game we play… It is to be respected, but not to be taken too seriously. It belongs to all of us. It is ours to create and recreate, to mess around with, as long as we give credit.” In his own words, Toker expresses the freedom that can be found within the written page of every musical score. A whole world can be discovered, rediscovered, and recreated in a single piece, and TOKER MESSING AROUND seeks to do just that.
ÆTERNUM is a tribute to music's infallible steadfastness against the mundane adversity of human existence. Brazilian-born pianist Eliane Rodrigues convinces with her forceful, furious interpretations of keyboard works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven – among them the latter's Fifth Symphony, grippingly arranged by Rodrigues herself.
Navona Live and pianist Antoinette Perry are proud to present BEETHOVEN BOOKENDS. The album takes listeners from Opus 7—Beethoven’s personal favorite of his early sonatas—through the Bagatelles of Opus 119, and culminates with the composer’s final sonata, Opus 111. BEETHOVEN BOOKENDS is rich with the passion and dynamic range for which Beethoven is renowned; Perry applies what Le Dauphine Libéré has called her “irreproachable technique” to these legendary compositions.
Acclaimed pianist Inna Faliks breaks new ground with REIMAGINE on Navona Records, an homage to Beethoven and Ravel which manages to do the impossible: be breathtakingly innovative while remaining respectful to the source material.
No other musical form allows the composer as much liberty as the musical fantasy, or fantasia. Ukrainian-born pianist Pavel Gintov iconoclastically blends emotion and reason in his selection of PIANO FANTASIES ranging from the Baroque through to the late Romantic era.
Inspired by a transcription by composer Franz Liszt, GÖTTERFUNKEN employs the duality of two grand pianos to reimagine and reinterpret Beethoven’s revered Ninth Symphony. As mother and daughter, pianists Eliane Rodrigues and Nina Smeets infuse their own personal flair with Rodrigues’s arrangement, following the path Beethoven paved while connecting his work to the present day with small instances of improvisation throughout that reflect his original stylistic preferences. Conceptualized in the age of social distancing, GÖTTERFUNKEN was arranged not only to reunite Rodrigues and Smeets through music, but the world as a whole with Beethoven’s magnum opus.
On MOZART MATURES: 1780s Piano Works, pianist Roberta Rust perceptively explores Mozart's personal artistic journey and progression from an extraordinary talent to an immortal giant of musical composition. Largely eschewing the popular tunes, Rust instead carefully handpicked musical selections designed to showcase the composer’s structural, technical, and harmonic development. The Sonata in F Major, K. 332, with its never-ending twists and turns, makes for a great starting point. But, considering that Rust is a talented extemporizer on the piano herself, it comes as no surprise that many of the pieces on MOZART MATURES are those originally conceived as improvisations.
Concept albums are few and far between, and rarer yet in classical music. THINGS IN PAIRS, a conceptual as well as a musical beacon by violin/piano duo Audrey Wright and Yundu Wang, fills this gap. The tracks on THINGS IN PAIRS were not just carefully curated – rather, they were selected and sorted with the precision of a steady-handed artist stacking a formidable house of cards. Spanning five centuries, these pieces contrast the classical Joseph Bologne with modern minimalist Arvo Pärt, Baroque virtuoso Biber with the contemporary Rain Worthington, all under the watchful eye of Viennese Classical Beethoven.
TEXTURES IN CLASSICS from renowned pianist and music scholar Sang-Hie Lee explores the rich musical possibilities offered by the piano. To do so, Lee performs works from some of the seminal composers in Western music including Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms. The album captures Lee’s unique pianism at the height of her maturity as an artist. While contemporary performers often place an outsized emphasis on virtuosic technical skill, Lee’s performances examine the notion of texture in piano music; this ranges from the clean, crisp soundscape of Mozart’s early pianoforte to Beethoven’s exacting technique and lush harmonies. There is little doubt that TEXTURES IN CLASSICS will cement Lee’s legacy as a scholarly-artistic pianist.
What do Beethoven, Bartók and Bulgaria's national composer Vladigerov have in common? This is the question posed by Bulgarian pianist Alexander Tchobanov on his new album ECLECTIC SOUNDS - and what appears to be a harmless question soon turns into a mighty quest.
Good pianists are a dime a dozen, great pianists are one in a million. American virtuoso Bryan Wallick proves that he firmly belongs to the latter category on VIRTUOSIC FUGUE, a dazzling curation of music's strictest and most challenging form, executed with a buttery, singing tone and ravishing technical bravura.
These fugues by J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Shostakovich challenge the pianist with the age-old dilemma of the form by performing them with a mesmerizingly light, precise touch, sparingly adding accent pedaling in highly strategic places. The result isn't just a masterclass in expressive virtuosity; it's also a mentally restorative, profoundly enjoyable listening experience.