Piotr Anderszewski to release new Warner Classics album Fantaisies, featuring the music of Mozart and Schumann, on February 24, 2017

The CD will also come bundled with a DVD of his documentary Warsaw is my Name, a deeply-personal film portrait of his hometown

Anderszewski will perform music from the album at Carnegie Hall’s Stern/Perelman stage on February 17, 2017

Monday, February 6, 2017 — The release of any recording by the pianist Piotr Anderszewski constitutes something of a special occasion. As the Scottish newspaper The Herald wrote: “In music as in life, Anderszewski is a man who takes his decision-making seriously. His recitals are intense and wonderful: he is a profound communicator, a meticulous craftsman, a deeply original interpreter. He infuses every gesture with tremendous care; no phrase is thrown away, no nuance without meaning. The process of putting together such acutely considered performances is painstaking and lengthy … which goes some way to explaining why his repertoire includes just a handful of core composers.”

Two of the composers closest to Anderszewski’s heart, Mozart and Schumann, are the focus of this recital, Fantaisies, recorded in Warsaw. “I can hear in the music of both composers a similarity in their processes of giving physical form to their inspirations,” he says. “The cruel resistance of the blank page feels, in both cases, inexistent, ignored. And therein lies an important, precious connection between Mozart and Schumann: an unobstructed directness to their music, in which the purity of intention remains intact … In the case of Mozart his inspiration, his knowledge of the instrument, his compositional technique, all seem to coexist in some perfect balance, and the achievement of that balance feels miraculously effortless. In the case of Schumann things are less even, less consistent; one feels a much more troubled soul behind his creations. But even in his more awkward pieces the sincerity of intention, the initial impulse is never compromised.”

The two Mozart pieces, the Fantasia in C minor K475 and the Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor K457, date from 1784-85, a time when Mozart, nearing the age of 30, was enjoying great success in Vienna, but both are dark, intense works. The two Schumann pieces, the Fantasie in C major and the Theme and Variations in E flat known as the ‘Geistervariationen’ (Ghost Variations) were composed some 18 years apart. The former was written in 1836, and constitutes a passionate expression of both Schumann’s love for Clara Wieck and his anguish at being kept separated from her by her father. The latter dates from 1854 and was Schumann’s final composition, written two years after the suicide attempt that led to his confinement in an asylum. He believed that the work’s lyrical, deeply touching theme had been brought to him by an angel.

If Schumann is one of the composers who came to define the Romantic piano, Anderszewski (as he explained in an interview with Bavarian Radio) feels that in the music of Mozart, an exemplar of the Classical era, “there is nearly always a touch of the Romantic …” While Anderszewski does not feel that Mozart is a forward-looking composer like Beethoven, he still says that “I sometimes have the impression that the two centuries that followed Mozart are reflected in his works.”

 

TRACKLIST:

1. Mozart: Fantasia in C minor K475 . Fantaisie en ut mineur 13:18

Mozart: Piano Sonata No. 14  in C minor, K457
2.    I. Allegro  08:08
3.  II. Adagio  08:45
4. III. Molto allegro  05:36

Schumann: Fantasie in C major, Op. 17
5.    I.   Durchaus phantastisch und leidenschaftlich vorzutragen    12:09
6.   II.   Mäßig, durchaus energisch     08:17
7.  III.   Langsam getragen. Durchweg leise zu halten  11:13

Schumann: Theme and Variations in E-flat major. Ghost Variations 
8. Thema - Leise, innig  02:00
9.  Variation I    01:30
10. Variation II - Canonisch   01:38
11.  Variation  III - Etwas belebter   01:38
12.  Variation  IV   02:05
13. Variation V  02:13

 

INCLUDES A 36-MINUTE BONUS DVD

“Warsaw is my Name”
A film by Piotr Anderszewski
With the collaboration of Julien Condemine

 

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Andrew Ousley

Unison Media

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