‘A Mount Everest of virtuosity…’

Another excellent review of Jonathan Powell’s latest recording:
Following the sensational success of his world premiere recording of Sorabji’s Sequentia Cyclica, now highest praise for piano works by Grigori Krein: ‘ A Mount Everest of virtuosity…Powell acts congenially…Hardly anyone else masters such complex and challenging works as reliably and adorably.’

Read Martin Blaumeiser’s full review (in German) in the link below:

Jonathan Powell on Klassik Viral

Jonathan Powell talks to Arnt Cobbers in his podast series for the German Crescendo magazine (in English) about Hans Winterberg, whose first piano concerto he has just recorded for the first time, his composition lessons with Alexander Goehr, what interests him in Russian rarities of the early 20th century, why Kaikhosru Sorabji wrote pieces for piano solo of five, six or eight hours – and how to survive their performances as a pianist. 

Liv Migdal on Klassik Viral

The violinist Liv Migdal talks to Arnt Cobbers in his podcast series for the German Crescendo magazine why she campaigns for ostracized composers and especially Paul Ben-Haim, what she learned from Reinhold Goebel, why she enjoys studying autographs and why she prefers to play by heart. She also plays a chaconne made by Biber.

‘Innovationsfreude und Hellhörigkeit’

Eine neue, ausgezeichnete Besprechung der Debüt CD des Alban Berg Ensembles im Voklsblatt:

‘Innovationsfreude und Hellhörigkeit’
‘Gesegnet sind alle mit bester Musikalität, intensivem Ausdruck oder auch dem Gefühl für ein risikoreiches Grenzgängertum’

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Jonathan Powell at JAMU

Since ten years, Jonathan Powell is a guest a the Janáček Academy’s International Festival for New Music in Brno. Jonathan performs works by Saariaho, Erkoreka, Berio, Vitauskaite and others in a stream hosted by the Janacek Academy on 8th December:

Artur Pizarro plays ‘muscular and virtuoso’ Schumann

Erik Langeveld writes an enthusiastic review of Artur Pizarro’s new Schumann CD, released in November on Odradek Records:

‘Pizarro’s playing comes across as authentic, without looking for effects, with a bright touch full of color, sometimes soft as velvet, but muscular and virtuoso if necessary.
 Yet he is not a keyboard lion in the classic sense of the word. Pizarro represents a more modern, more professional school of piano playing in which technique and virtuosity are unconditionally at the service of the composer’s intentions. 

With Pizarro, Schumann gets it all. He convincingly portrays a composer who is not inferior to Beethoven, but deserves a place alongside his great predecessor.

We are already looking forward to Pizarro’s next travelogue.’

You can read the full review on Klassiek Centraal by clicking on the cover below:

ODRCD396 Artur Pizarro - Schumann Lebensreise - iTunes_000001

Jonathan Powell | Sorabji Project Heidelberger Fruehling

At the personal request of Igor Levit, Jonathan Powell will perform Sequentia Cyclica in 5 concerts over 3 days as the highlight of the 25th anniversary edition of the Heidelberger Frühling in 2021,

Watch the press conference (in German), starting from about 28’00”:

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Alban Berg Ensemble Wien – Recording of the Year:

The Alban Berg Ensemble Wien debut CD with Deutsche Grammophon has been nominated
by the Limelight Magazine for their ‘Recording of the Year’ award, according to their review
‘a fascinating debut of rare intensity’:

Limelight

Artur Pizarro & Dt. Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Beethoven.

Playing the 2nd Beethoven piano concerto with the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland -Pfalz and Chief Conductor Michael Francis, Artur Pizarro receives an enthusiastic review for his ‘brilliant rendition’ and ‘joyful music making’:

‘…no doubt there is someone, for whom the joy of making music together means more than complacent soloist brilliance….

With Pizarro, all this sounds like a completely relaxed warm-up exercise: completely unagitated, he lets the solo part glitter over the orchestra with a crystal-clear touch, presenting himself as a master of the punch line, as a Beethoven interpreter who above all wants to express the playfulness of the titan of the keyboard. The Staatsphilharmonie is infected by a joy of playing and demonstrates a high degree of homogeneity, despite the large corona distance of the winds from the rest.’

Der lustige Titan

Alban Berg Ensemble Wien on Radio RBB

An excellent review of the Alban Berg Ensemble’s debut CD on Berlin’s radio RBB:

Wien um 1900 ist eigentlich ein mittlerweile arg ausgelaugtes Thema. Dass auch mit bekannten Werken noch etwas zu entdecken sein soll, möchte man kaum glauben. Das 2016 gegründete Alban Berg Ensemble Wien jedoch vermag dem Thema noch eine Facette abzugewinnen, wenn es das Adagio aus Gustav Mahlers Zehnter, Arnold Schönbergs erste Kammersymphonie und Richard Strauss’ “Rosenkavalier”-Suite in Bearbeitungen für kleine Besetzung aufnimmt.

Das Ensemble selbst, bestehend aus Wiener Orchestermusikern und dem Hugo Wolf Quartett, spielt bei großer klanglicher Fülle mit sehr bedachter Phrasierung, die dem kammermusikalischen Klang gemäß nicht ins romantische Extrem geht – ein gelungenes Debüt. Peter Uehling stellt es vor. ABEW Cover

‘a fascination one can’t resist’

Michael Gmasz reviews the Alban Berg Ensemble’s debut CD on Radio Klassik Stephansdom:

‘…and the musicians of the ABEW can’t be satisfied with less than a “good thing”.’
‘Challenging music in a large chamber music ensemble, from the finest pianissimo to an almost rich orchestral sound – this is how the debut CD of the Alban Berg Ensemble Wien can be characterized in a few words.’
‘The music and above all the interpretation of the Alban Berg Ensemble Wien evoke a fascination that I can’t resist – and wouldn’t want to!’

Listen to the here (in German):
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‘Masterful…utterly ‘Wienerisch’…sublime’

Michel Dutrieue’s enthusiastic review of the Alban Berg Ensemble‘s debut CD in the Belgian Stretto Magazine:

‘It is striking how beautifully transparent the otherwise complex script of Mahler’s Adagio sounds. In their performance of Schönberg’s Kammersymphonie, they conjure up the correct colours from the expressionist dissonances on their instruments, and Strauss’ Rosenkavalier Suite sounds utterly “Wienerisch”…Sublime!’

Stretto