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Michael Landrum: Nocturnes
Nocturne in B, Op.22
Nocturne No. 2 in B minor
Nocturne, Op. 33
Nocturne in D major
Nocturne from Petite Suite
Nocturne No. 7 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 1
Nocturne No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 9 No. 1
Nocturno in F minor
Nocturne No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 33 No. 3
Nocturne No. 4 in A major
Notturno from Lyric Suite, Op. 54
Notturno in A flat Major, Op. 6 No. 2
Nocturne in E Major
Liebestraum, S541 No. 3 (Nocturne in A flat major)
Notturno in G minor
Nocturne No. 1 in C major
Nocturne in A minor, Op. 10, No. 1
Notturno from Six Pieces
Nocturne No. 5 in F Major
Nocturne No. 1 'Doux et calme'
Nocturne in F major, Op. 6, No. 2 from Soirees Musicales
Notturno op.54 no.5 [W220] (1908)
Nocturne in D flat major Op. 9 No. 2
Nocturno in E minor, Op. 24 No. 8
Cinq Impressions: Nocturne
Nocturne in C sharp minor (No. 4 from Morceaux (6), Op. 19)
Nocturne in G sharp minor, Op. 2 No. 1
from A Little Piano Book
Sono Luminus is proud to present this two-disc set from pianist Michael Landrum, 'Nocturnes', bringing together a plethora of composers’ works that enliven the nocturne genre of music.
A native of Augusta, Georgia, Michael Landrum received the Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College and the Master of Fine Arts degree from California Institute of the Arts. After earning his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Temple University, he became Professor of Music and Film Studies at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, New York.
In 1976, Mr Landrum won first prize in the J S Bach International Competition for Pianists in Washington DC. During his doctoral studies in Philadelphia, Michael Landrum was a student of Harvey Wedeen. He also studied for a number of years with Edna Golandsky in New York City and was a frequent participant in master classes with Dorothy Taubman. In June of 2005, he presented a Nocturne Lecture/Recital at Columbia Artists Management Hall in New York.
The nocturne genre has long been a topic of interest to Mr Landrum. He has had the opportunity to share his insights into this ever-evolving repertoire on many occasions throughout the country.
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“The placement of the various works on this album was intended to create a seamless flow of musical ideas, a kind of tonal stream of consciousness which transcends composer, time and place. This is my personal tribute to the genius of Chopin – a composer whose unique musical sonorities have resonated across the globe over the last 200 years, inspiring and giving life to the works of countless composers” Kevin Kenner
“all the performances...are of unwavering mastery and musicianship, with towering but never forced strength and a rubato and nuance both personal and telling. [Kenner] is exceptionally glittering and stylish in Chopin's Fantasie-Impromptu...This is a record to fascinate even the most blasé listener.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2011
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Balakirev: Piano Sonata & other works
Pianist Danny Driver has garnered overwhelming critical praise – and a Gramophone award nomination – for his previous discs for Hyperion. His authoritative and virtuosic performances of York Bowen and CPE Bach have placed him firmly in the ‘one to watch’ category. For his latest disc, he turns to one of the giants of the Russian piano world.
This disc looks beyond the ubiquitous ‘Islamey’ to some of Balakirev’s most important works – which are curiously underrepresented on disc. The Piano Sonata in B flat minor is a major achievement of the period and one quite unlike any contemporary large-scale piano composition. Its absence from the standard repertoire is unfortunate, as it is fully worthy of such a place. Undoubtedly this marvellous recording will provoke a reappraisal.
“In particular, the piano sonata in B flat minor is a terrific, big-hearted piece, unlike anything else from its period, and its neglect in the concert hall is surely due a reappraisal. Driver adds several other delicious treats...Impressive playing throughout” The Observer, 23rd January 2011
“This is by no means gratuitously embroidered music but, as Driver also shows, music of sometimes tender, plaintive emotion, as in a B minor Nocturne...Bravo to Hyperion for championing this music and to Driver for playing it with such sensitivity, polish and élan.” The Telegraph, 4th February 2011 *****
“It's wonderful to see a talent such as this continuing to address the more obscure pianistic byways, and here Driver has assembled a fabulous array of works from Balakirev's very varied keyboard output...This is a fabulous introduction to the very diverse and unduly neglected works by one of the finest of nineteenth-century pianist composers.” International Record Review, March 2011
“Driver presents [Islamey] in a tonally ravishing and lucid performance of the utmost sensitivity...the disc is unquestionably another feather in the cap of a pianist whose every new release is now eagerly anticipated.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2011
“Hyperion's new release is full of music that mixes Chopinesque grace with Russian-bear grandiosity. Driver is the sort of pianist who can handle both, delivering performances of poise, power and no shortage of passion.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2011 *****
BBC Music Magazine
Instrumental Choice - June 2011
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Balakirev: Complete Piano Works
Fantasies and Nocturnes
Mazurkas and Scherzos
Mily Balakirev (1837-1910) was the founder of the group of Russian composers called ‘The Mighty Handful’. Together with Borodin, Rimsky Korsakov, Cui and Mussorgsky he helped create a distinctive Russian school of music that was not reliant on the influence of the Austro German school.
Studying at the St Petersburg Conservatoire, he won the praise of Glinka, and had an influence on the young Tchaikovsky. He wrote two symphonies, two piano concertos, several symphonic poems and many piano works. On these 6CDs his entire output for piano can be found.
A superb pianist, he produced one of the most taxing works ever written for the instrument, his Oriental Fantasy Islamey. His piano sonata is no less impressive, and the Seven Mazurkas are wonderfully melodic works. There is much to discover on these discs. Sadly, Balakirev suffered a complete nervous breakdown in 1871, and he withdrew from life, eventually emerging to take up a minor management role on the railways.
In 1876 he began to compose again, and in 1883 was appointed as director of the Imperial Chapel. He retired in 1895, and continued composing, but by now considered old fashioned and was forgotten even by his old friends. However, one young composer, Igor Stravinsky had a soft spot for him, and pitied him as he suffered from bouts of depression.
“has this music in his soul. He plays with a crispness and clarity that is vital in this repertoire. Even though the recordings were made almost two decades ago, they remain fresh and worth hearing. Adding to the enjoyment is a good set of notes, including personal comments by the performer about each piece.” MusicWeb International, April 2011
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