Frederic Chopin – Preludes & Piano Sonata No. 2 – Jean-Philippe Collard (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 00:58:01 minutes | 890 MB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | @ La Dolce Volta
Recorded: 9-11 avril 2013, Paris (Paroisse protestante luthérienne « Bon-Secours »)

It has taken him decades to feel comfortable with the composer. Today he is confident in his approach to this repertory and has no qualms about his interpretative options. Chopin’s music gives him two very powerful impressions. First of all, it interprets the sensation of being in love, an aspect he finds fascinating. Moreover, his language speeds up the process of communication between artist and audience.
He sees this disc as a break, a renewal. All his previous records were released on EMI. Today he has changed labels, repertory, sound engineer … These developments enable him to escape a certain routine, to put himself on the line.
There are countless benchmark versions in this repertory, but the French pianist has not sought to measure himself against them, and his approach to the composer is honest and totally sincere. Chopin represents a genuine challenge, for which Jean-Philippe Collard has identified a style that is his alone.

(more…)

Claude Debussy – Preludes, Livres I & II – Philippe Bianconi (2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:17:10 minutes | 1.06 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | @ La Dolce Volta
Recorded: Paris on February 2012 (Église de la rue Titon)

Philippe Bianconi has achieved recognition as one of France’s most accomplished instrumentalists despite his reluctance to embrace the capital. The interpretion of French music has always been of great importance in his repertoire.
“Debussy has always been part of my life” says the pianist about the composer so close to his heart.
Discophiles have been impatiently awaiting his recording of the towering Préludes, but Philippe Bianconi has taken his time before entering the studio to capture what he calls “the quintessence of Debussy’s art”. Beneath his fingertips, which conjugate a profound attention to detail with an irresistible poetic imagination, the art of Claude de France reveals all its riches and its startling modernity.
The enchanting sonorities and the density of Philippe Bianconi’s interpretation make his new CD a major addition to the list of great versions of the Préludes, enhanced by the exceptional sound quality of the recording itself, to which the pianist has devoted particular attention.

(more…)

Denes Varjon – Precipitando: Alban Berg, Leos Janacek, Franz Liszt (2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44.1 kHz | Time – 00:57:42 minutes | 318 MB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | @ ECM Records GmbH
Recorded: April 2011, Auditorio Radiotelevisione svizzera, Lugano

After important contributions to Heinz Holliger’s “Romancendres” and acclaimed performance, with Carolin Widmann, of Schumann’s Violin Sonatas, here is the first New Series solo recording from Hungarian pianist Dénes Várjon. It is a recital that draws the listener in from the first moments – beginning with the dark, brooding language of Alban’s Berg’s Piano Sonata Op. 1, shaped in the shadow of Schoenberg, and continuing into the nebulous regions of Janáček’s impressionistic and near-contemporaneous “In the mists”, finally emerging into the clear light of Liszt’s immense – and immensely-influential – B-minor Sonata.

(more…)