One of the former Soviet Union’s leading composers and a member of the so-called Armenian ‘Mighty Handful’, Arno Babadjanian was admired by musicians of the stature of Shostakovich, Khachaturian, Rostropovich and David Oistrakh. He was also an outstanding pianist and a very considerable virtuoso. Babadjanian’s music explores his native Armenian folk tradition as well as elements of jazz and twelve-tone techniques…
Since winning the Silver Medal and the Krystian Zimerman Sonata award at the 2015 Chopin Piano Competition, Montreal and Quebec at large have been gaga – for good reason – over Charles Richard-Hamelin. Recorded live in concert this past May at Salle Raoul-Jobin of the Palais Montcalm in Quebec City, this album may begin conservatively with Beethoven’s Two Rondos for Piano, Op. 51, but takes a turn with George Enescu’s Second Suite, Op. 10. With the Enescu, Richard-Hamelin digresses from clinical Classicism into the Romanian composer’s grandiose late-Romantic chromaticism. Even in a live recording, Richard-Hamelin shows not only acute elegance and poise, but extreme precision and a heightened emotional sensibility.
Alexej Gorlatch was born in 1988 in Kiev and has been living in Germany since 1991. He began his piano studies at the age of seven with Eduard-Georg Georgiew in Passau, before becoming a junior student of Martin Hughes at the Berlin University of Arts at the age of twelve, continuing his music studies two years later with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling at the University of Music and Drama Hanover and subsequently with Bernd Goetzke. On this recording Alexej Gorlatch plays Stravinsky with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin and Alondra de la Parra.
It's a real pity that most people's knowledge of Rossini begins and ends with the operas. Few people know that he actually wrote volumes of high-quality music for solo piano and chamber ensembles. No, Rossini is no Brahms or Schumann; don't expect heavy-duty Germanic introspection. What you can expect, however, is unfailing wit, humor, brilliance, humanity, and honesty written by a man who had seen and done just about everything in his long and eventful life.