Peter Orth

24 Préludes Op. 11 - Sonata No. 1 Op. 28

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917268423
Catnr: CC 72684
Release date: 11 September 2015
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 19.95
Challenge Classics
Catalogue number
CC 72684
Release date
11 September 2015

""In summary a well-filled disc of two major but hardly well known works of the Russian piano literature, in what I think is a unique coupling. If you don’t know either, Peter Orth will be a valuable guide to these contrasted masterworks. There is very good sound and a booklet note which has the relevant background to each composer and his opus, but is a bit skimpy on the actual music.""

Musicweb International, 19-2-2016

About the album

As for these pieces I can tell you, I did not know anything about the Rachmaninoff Sonata at all until my friend Dietmar Falke told me to take a serious look at the score, which I did. To my surprise I found it most thrilling and decided to learn it.
From the beginning of its premier in 1908 it has gotten a bad rap. It was not well received, and Rachmaninoff abandoned it. On top of that, Horowitz’s performance of the Second sonata in the 1960’s so captured the imagination of the public, that the D minor Sonata really never had a chance. I, for one, find it neither ponderous nor too much and whenever I have been playing it, the public goes along with this music quite happily.
I first heard the Scriabin Preludes in a Carnegie Hall concert of Gina Bachauer’s, back in my school days. The next day I bought a score and ever since they have been a constant companion in my repertoire.
We recorded this music at the Wuppertal’s Imanuelskirche in March of 2014. Dietmar Falke was my wonderful piano technician and I brought my own Steinway D from my studio in Bad Meinberg. We set up on a Monday, and had everything in the can by late Thursday afternoon.
Peter Orth

Een eerbetoon aan Scriabin, begeleid door Rachmaninov
Dit album, ter gelegenheid van het honderdjarige overlijden van Alexander Scriabin, bevat zijn 24 Preludes op. 11, en daarnaast de Sonata no.1 van Sergej Rachmaninov.

Pianist Peter Orth schreef over het album: “ Wat deze stukken betreft, ik kende de Sonate van Rachmaninov nog niet, totdat mijn vriend Dietmar Fake me vertelde om met een serieuze blik naar de partituur te kijken, wat ik gedaan heb. Tot mijn verbazing vond ik het opwindend, en besloot ik het werk te leren spelen.”

Vanaf zijn première in 1908 heeft het werk al een slechte reputatie. Het werd niet goed ontvangen, en Rachmaninov liet het achter. Daar kwam nog bovenop dat de uitvoering van de Tweede Sonate door Horowitz in de jaren 60 zo tot de verbeelding sprak, dat de Sonate in D klein nooit een kans had gehad. De muziek is echter niet te langdradig, noch te veel, en het publiek gaat altijd in de muziek op wanneer Peter Orth het speelt.

Orth hoorde de Preludes van Scriabin voor het eerst tijdens een concert van Gina Bachauer in Carnegie Hall, toen hij nog op school zat. De dag erna kocht hij een partituur, en sinds die tijd is het werk een vast onderdeel van zijn repertoire. Deze werken zijn in maart 2014 opgenomen in de Imanuelskirche in Wuppertal. De fantastische pianotechnicus Dietmar Falke bracht Orths eigen Steinway D uit zijn studio in Bad Meinberg mee. De opnames begonnen op maandag, en dinsdagmiddag laat was alles voor elkaar.

Skrjabin zum 100. Todestag mit Rachmaninoff in bester Begleitung

Skrjabin und Rachmaninoff - zwei große Komponisten und Kollegen, die auf den ersten Blick unterschiedlicher nicht sein könnten. Gemeinsam studierten sie in den 1880-er Jahren in Moskau, jedoch begann erst mit dem Jahrhundertwechsel und mit Skrjabins Suche nach einer neuen Tonalität die starke Abgrenzung beider Komponisten.
So klingen die Préludes von Skrjabin, die Peter Orth auf dieser Aufnahme interpretiert, noch nach dem jungen Skrjabin (sie entstanden zwischen 1888 und 1896), der sich vor allem von Chopin inspirieren lies. Glaubt man Daniel Grimmwood, so "könnte man denken, dass sie als Fortsetzung von Chopins op. 28" konzipiert waren. Für Peter Orth sind sie eine Kindheitserinnerung: Während seiner Schulzeit sah er Gina Bachauer die Préludes in der Carnegie Hall spielen, seit dem sind sie fester Bestandteil seiner Repertoires.
Rachmaninoff stand 1907 hingegen unter dem Einfluß von Goethes Faust als er in Dresden seine Sonate Nr.1 op. 28 schrieb und so beschreiben die drei Sätze der Sonate Faust, Gretchen und Mephisto. Besonders eindrücklich sind dabei die neun Takte am Ende des dritten Satzes in dreifachem Forte, in denen Faust zur Hölle fährt.


Peter Orth was born in Philadelphia and started playing the piano at four years of age. As a toddler he had long been demanding to be lifted on to the piano bench. Finally after several years of playing only by ear - having refused stubbornly to learn how to read the notes - he began formal training. On the occasion of his 6th birthday, Orth’s parents took him to his fi rst live concert, a recital of Arthur Rubinstein, where by intermission Orth knew that he would be a pianist.
By the time he was fifteen he was winning piano competitions, and was accepted on full scholarship to the class of Adele Marcus at The Juilliard School upon graduation from High School in Reading, Pennsylvania.
At the invitation of Rudolf Serkin in 1978 Orth became a member of the Marlboro Music Festival. He stayed in Vermont to study with Serkin at his Institute for Young Performing Musicians in Guilford and subsequently won fi rst prize in the 1979 Naumburg International Piano Competition held in memory of the great American pianist William Kapell. Awards followed from the Peabody Mason Foundation in Boston, and the Shura Cherkassky Prize from the ‘92nd Street Y’ in New York. As well as his New York recital debut at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, and many other important venues in the United States, he received Orchestra engagements from the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as the Boston and Chicago Symphonies amongst many others. The New York Times wrote that Peter Orth is ‘a major talent’ upon his orchestral debut in Carnegie Hall.
In the 80’s Orth had the continued good fortune to encounter two more important musical infl uences: the pianist Paul Doguereau of Boston, and the conductor Sergiu Celibidache.
Doguereau was friends with Maurice Ravel and had studied with Egon Petri, Ignaz Paderewski, and Emil von Sauer. While General Music Director of the Munich Philharmonic, Sergiu Celibidache gave master classes that Orth attended for two years at the University of Mainz.
In the last seasons Peter Orth has kept a visible New York presence with recitals in Alice Tully Hall, Zankel Hall, Town Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum.
In 1992 Orth settled in Cologne, Germany to be with his partner and now husband, British-born Stewart Eaton, the Violist of the Germany-based Auryn String Quartet and began a new life and career from scratch.
In 2010 the pair moved to Horn-Bad Meinberg where both are Professors at the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold.


"In summary a well-filled disc of two major but hardly well known works of the Russian piano literature, in what I think is a unique coupling. If you don’t know either, Peter Orth will be a valuable guide to these contrasted masterworks. There is very good sound and a booklet note which has the relevant background to each composer and his opus, but is a bit skimpy on the actual music."
Musicweb International, 19-2-2016

["].. The American pianist Peter Orth, who as a boy of six knew he wanted to be a pianist after he heard a recital by Arthur Rubinstein, played the Preludes of Scriabin with the perfect balance between form and content, an expressive and melodious toucher, flexible tension and organic phrasing."
Klassieke Zaken, 01-12-2015

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