Chopin Liszt Ravel (Recital)

 
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CHOPIN / LISZT / RAVEL
Chopin Liszt Ravel (Recital)
Benjamin Grosvenor (piano)

[ Decca Music Group / CD ]

Release Date: Thursday 19 January 2012

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"evidence of an awesome talent, a pianist with fantastic natural reflexes in the Cziffra class and, more excitingly, a musician with purpose and imagination, whose playing transcends the sterile confines of the studio" Gramophone Award WINNER 2012: Instrumental

"evidence of an awesome talent, a pianist with fantastic natural reflexes in the Cziffra class and, more excitingly, a musician with purpose and imagination, whose playing transcends the sterile confines of the studio...Crowning all is a masterly Gaspard in which an astonishing array of touch and tonal colouring are brought to bear in Grosvenor's vivid, distinctly defined characterisation of all three movements."
Gramophone Award WINNER 2012: Instrumental

"It's an immensely confident set, comparable to Evgeny Kissin's early performances - the most impressive aspect being not his obvious command of technique, but an intellectual and emotional understanding of the music way beyond his tender years." The Independent, 8th July 2011 ****

"This recital disc shows his ability to twin youthful exuberance with impeccable technique and magisterial musical intelligence...Grosvenor's balance of oratory and ornament, gesture and poetry - evident, too, in Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit - are moving as well as impressive. He's a phenomenon: modest, poised and natural, as well as brimming with talent." The Observer, 17th July 2011

"The first thing you notice is the limpid surface of Grosvenor's playing, the warm tonal gleam that he conjures up from the keys. It is a beautiful sound, and beneath it there are seams of passion, discretion and emotional affinity with the music...there is little to quibble with in this recital, which shows intelligence coupled with a command of keyboard colour and musical characterisation that are remarkable." The Telegraph, 14th July 2011 ****

"In Gaspard he magically combines the micro-refinement of a Pogorelich with the poetic wisdom and golden touch of a Perlemuter, and in Chopin's Scherzos integrates the music's hurtling mood-swings with mesmerising intensity." Classic FM Magazine, September 2011 *****

"Both the main works here...demonstrate the brilliance of Grosvenor's technique as he takes the challenges of Chopin's pieces in his stride, and vividly conjures up the colours of Ravel's piano writing, if rather underplaying the pieces' nightmarish qualities" The Guardian, 18th August 2011 ***

"one of the most individual things about this stunning debut by Benjamin Grosvenor is his pervasive sense of balance and his unerring blend of Classical restraint and Romantic ardour...He is a virtuoso who declines the mantle of virtuoso, every gestures being put exclusively and exhilaratingly at the service of the music. Grosvenor's playing exudes joy and spontaneity, seeming to release rather than interpret the music." BBC Music Magazine, October 2011 *****

19 year old British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor is internationally recognized for his electrifying performances and penetrating interpretations. An exquisite technique and ingenious flair for tonal colour are the hallmarks which make Benjamin one of the most sought-after young pianists in the world. His virtuosic command over the most strenuous technical complexities never compromises the formidable depth and intelligence of his interpretations.

In 2011 Benjamin signed with Decca Classics, becoming the youngest British musician ever to do so, and the first British pianist to sign with them in almost 60 years (since Clifford Curzon and Moura Lympany first graced the label in the 1940s and '50s). His first effort for Decca includes Chopin's Four Scherzi and Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit. Critics have marvelled at Benjamin's musical character as displayed in this recording: "Grosvenor, you can tell, is a Romantic pianist, almost from another age. He doesn't deconstruct, or stand at a distance. He jumps inside the music's soul" (THE TIMES) and "Grosvenor's balance of oratory and ornament, gesture and poetry - evident, too, in Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit - are moving as well as impressive" (THE OBSERVER).

The youngest of five brothers, Benjamin began playing the piano at age six. He currently studies with Christopher Elton at the Royal Academy of Music on an affiliated scholarship and has also studied with Leif Ove Andsnes, Stephen Hough, and Arnaldo Cohen, amongst others.

"A remarkable release no piano lover should miss."
-CLASSICS TODAY

"Grosvenor is seemingly uncapable of producing an ugly tone... this is essential listening."
-INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW

"One of the most individual things about this stunning debut by Benjamin Grosvenor is his pervasive sense of balance and his unerring blend of Classical restraint and Romantic ardour..."
-Five Stars BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE

"Live recordings circulated privately over the past few years and this new one are evidence of an awesome talent, a pianist with fantastic natural reflexes in the Cziffra class and, more excitingly, a musician with purpose and imagination, whose playing transcends the sterile confines of the studio."
-GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE

Editor's Choice - October 2011, Gramophone Magazine
Instrumental Choice - October 2011, BBC Music Magazine

Tracks:

CHOPIN: Scherzo No.1 in B Minor, Op. 20
CHOPIN: Nocturne No.5 in F Sharp, Op.15, No.2
CHOPIN: Scherzo No.4 in E, Op.54
CHOPIN: Nocturne No.19 in E Minor, Op.72 No.1
CHOPIN: Scherzo No.3 in C Sharp Minor, Op.39
CHOPIN: Nocturne in C Sharp Minor, Op. Posth.
CHOPIN: Scherzo No.2 in B Flat Minor, Op.31
CHOPIN: My Joys, Op.74 No.12 (arranged Liszt as No.5 of "Six Chants Polonais" S.480)
CHOPIN: The Maiden's Wish, Op.74,No.1 (arranged Liszt as No.1 of "Six Chants Polonais" S.480)
LISZT: En Reve, Nocturne, S.207
RAVEL: Gaspard de la Nuit -- Ondine
RAVEL: Gaspard de la Nuit -- Le Gibet
RAVEL: Gaspard de la Nuit -- Scarbo

Benjamin performing at the BBC Proms 2011 (via YouTube).