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In his latest release, Nightbreak, acclaimed pianist Bruce Levingston has recorded an album of works that display the light and dark of the human soul. From the dramatic sound-portraits of Franz Liszt’s powerful and moving “Vallée d’Obermann” and Brahms anguished “Edward” Ballade to the world premiere recording of Philip Glass’s brilliant and thrilling “Dracula Suite”, Levingston’s virtuosic and deeply searching performance on this CD captures a panoramic range of colors and emotions.
The second release in a triptych by Mr. Levingston for Sono Luminus, Nightbreak also contains Mr. Levingston’s signature creative programming with elegant and poetic interpretations of nocturnes and waltzes by Liszt, Brahms and Wolfgang Rihm. In addition, he has recorded Liszt’s magnificent, impressionistic “Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este”, a tour de force of color and chiaroscuro in sound. Bruce Levingston is one of the leading figures on the contemporary music scene. Many of the country’s most important composers have written works for him and his Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center world premiere performances of their works have won notable critical acclaim. The New York Times calls him “ [ one ] of “today’s most adventurous musicians “ and describes his performances as “graceful,” “dreamy” and “hauntingly serene”; The New Yorker describes him as “a poetic pianist who has a gift for inventive—and glamorous—programming.” Following a recent performance in the historic Coolidge Auditorium at The Library of Congress, The Washington Post praised his “ wonderfully even touch” and “transparency and timeless reverie, which Levingston projected beautifully.”
Levingston’s last CD for Sono Luminus, Heart Shadow (DSL92137), was comprised of three major piano works inspired by literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It received high critical acclaim and was named “Album of the Week” by New York City’s WQXR. Zachery Lewis of The Cleveland Pain Dealer called Levingston’s account of Schumann’s “Kreisleriana” “vivid and richly expressive, a notable reading” and Levingston’s world premiere recording of Bielawa and Wuorinen “a gripping, dynamic performance”. In February 2012, the final album in this three-part series, Still Sound (Pärt, Satie, Gross, Schubert, Chopin, Bolcom) will contain intimate works featuring world premiere recordings of Pulitzer Prize-winner William Bolcom’s “New York Lights” written for Bruce Levingston, and Augusta Gross’ new works inspired by Satie and Pärt.
Franz Liszt: Annees de pelerinage, 1st year, Switzerland, S160/R10
No. 6. Vallee d'Obermann (Valley of Obermann)
No. 9. Les cloches de Geneve (The Bells of Geneva)
Franz Liszt: Annees de pelerinage, 3rd year, S163/R10
Annees de pelerinage, 3rd year, S163/R10: No. 4. Les jeux d'eau a la Villa d'Este (The Fountains of the Villa d'Este)
Johannes Brahms: 7 Fantasien, Op. 116
7 Fantasien, Op. 116: No. 4. Intermezzo in E major
Johannes Brahms: 4 Ballades, Op. 10
4 Ballades, Op. 10: No. 1 in D minor, "Edward"
Johannes Brahms: 16 Waltzes, Op. 39
16 Waltzes, Op. 39: No. 9 in D minor
Wolfgang Rihm: Brahmsliebewalzer
Philip Glass: Dracula Suite
II. Carriage without a Driver
III. In His Cell
IV. Van Helshing and Dracula
V. Dracula (reprise)
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.