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The acclaimed pianist David Greilsammer performs three pieces that celebrate the strong musical ties between Europe and America during the early part of the 20th century. The disc includes Polish-born composer Alexandre Tansman’s Piano Concerto No. 2, receiving its world premiere recording, Gershwin’s ever popular Rhapsody in Blue, and Nadia Boulanger’s rarely played Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra. Steven Sloane conducts the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.
Alexandre Tansman started his career as a pianist and composer in Paris in the 1920s. In 1927 Tansman embarked on a tour of the USA with Ravel, and his Second Piano concerto was performed for the first time by him in Boston on 28 December. The work, full of colours and built on several major musical influences (including jazz) was very well received. Despite this, however, the music has never been recorded, and consequently this is a world premiere. During the same period George Gershwin, an American who was the son of Jewish Russian immigrants, experienced worldwide success with his “Jazz Concerto” Rhapsody in Blue. To complete this selection, David Greilsammer chose to record a work recently discovered, Nadia Boulanger’s Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra. An internationally renowned teacher as well as conductor and composer, her pupils included many of the most influential American composers of the time including Copland, Piston, and Carter.
Ever since he was a child, David Greilsammer has felt a special affection for Mozart. His
debut recording, released in 2006 featured Mozart’s early Piano Concertos (V5149), and was a Daily Telegraph “Record of the Year”. His second disc, fantaisie_fantasme (V5081), in which he combined music from different centuries and traditions, won several international awards and was picked as a recording of the year in the Sunday Times. His third disc – of Mozart’s Piano Concertos 22 & 24 (V5184) – has also been critically acclaimed.
Alexandre Tansman: Piano Concerto No. 2
Nadia Boulanger: Fantaisie variee
George Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue *
Rhapsody in Blue
22nd October 2010
“Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, which Greilsammer plays with a blend of romance and rhythmic zest, is the most familiar of the pieces...[Tansman's] concerto was dedicated to Tansman’s great friend Charlie Chaplin, whose exuberance the music echoes in a performance that, in the piano and orchestral playing alike, has drive, wit and sparkle.”
30th September 2010
“[Tansman's] Piano Concerto No 2, from 1927, is little short of a lost masterpiece of elegant, urbane Modernism. Following a performance of it, Tansman was accosted in his dressing-room by Gershwin, excitedly acclaiming him "a genius!", and no wonder”
“pianist, conductor and orchestra make a compelling case for both the Tansman Second Concerto as a minor masterpiece well worth reviving, and the Boulanger Fantaisie as a fascinating glimpse into this justly revered teacher's "other life".”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.