Following his critically acclaimed series of recordings as conductor with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra of the Complete Symphonies of Jean Sibelius, on this 2-channel Hybrid SACD Vladimir Ashkenazy returns to his roots as one of the leading soloists of his time with a selection of some of the Finnish composer’s intimate piano pieces.
Vladimir Ashkenazy selected Jarvenpaa Hall, one of the halls with the best acoustics in Finland, as well as Ainola, the composer's house, for the recording, sharing the breath of nature the composer felt. He recorded Valse triste, one of the most popular of Sibelius' miniatures, which was transcribed by the composer himself, twice on this disc, first at the Jarvenpaa Hall, and the second at Ainola using the composer's piano.
In the years since Vladimir Ashkenazy first came to prominence on the world stage in the 1955 Chopin Competition in Warsaw he has built an extraordinary career, not only as one of the most renowned and revered pianists of our times, but as an inspiring artist whose creative life encompasses a vast range of activities. Conducting has formed the largest part of his music-making for the past 20 years. He has been Chief Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic (1998–2003) and Music Director of the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo (2004–2007). Since 2009 he has held the position of Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Sydney Symphony. Although arthritis in his fingers has limited his piano performances in recent years, Ashkenazy is still considered to be one of the leading soloists of his generation.
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