Benjamin Moser on his program:
I have had the idea for this project since 2016. For the occasion of the 10th anniversary of my prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition and of my first CD with Russian music, I wanted to make another recording, a sort of “Volume 2” with Russian repertoire.
Within that framework I wanted to couple a well-known work with others that are more seldom performed: the Pictures at an Exhibition seemed like a good choice, since I had always wanted to play them – particularly in the original version, which I love. I wanted to couple them with Rachmaninoff’s 1st Piano Sonata, a seldom-performed work which, in my opinion, is both marvelous and underrated. But then I discovered Earl Wild’s arrangements of Rachmaninoff songs, and soon became thrilled with these technically demanding yet delightfully lyrical miniatures.
A further inspiration, particularly for Gershwin’s Preludes and Virtuoso Etudes, was provided by the focus on “America” chosen by the Ruhr Piano Festival, where, in the summer of 2017, I performed the programme now featured on this CD under the name “Songs and Pictures” in a live recital – a daunting challenge indeed!
Now, in cooperation with Deutschlandradio Berlin and AvI (to both of whom I extend my heartfelt thanks!), this CD recording now finally sees the light of day. I hope that it will bring much pleasure to everyone who deigns to listen!
BENJAMIN MOSER Piano
Benjamin Moser had his first piano lessons at the age of six. At a very young age he was admitted as
a university-level piano student to study in the class of Michael Schäfer at the Hochschule für Musik
in Munich before going on to Berlin to study with Klaus Hellwig. He has also received important
guidance from Dmitri Bashkirov and Alfred Brendel. Moser has won a great number of competitions,
including the International Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York in 2007. That same year he
was among the prizewinners at the renowned Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition, where he garnered
the prize for the best interpretation of Tchaikovsky as well as the Audience Prize.
Benjamin Moser stems from a Munich family of musicians: his mother is a soprano and his father
plays cello, as does his brother Johannes, a world-class cellist in great international demand. Since
childhood the two brothers have been playing chamber music together; even today, despite their
full agendas and successful solo careers, they continue to perform recitals as a duo. “Benjamin
Moser is the type of pianist who avoids placing himself in the limelight: he is neither someone who
ploughs through the keyboard like a hyperventilating virtuoso, nor someone who purports to fall
into a trance while exploring the confines of slowness. Instead, the young pianist from Munich is an
artist who displays a degree of musicianship that is entirely convincing” (Westdeutsche Allgemeine
Zeitung). “He is a gifted communicator of marvelous musical gestures and emotions, and an orator
who knows how to use the right language to help the audience grasp his programme” (Badische
Benjamin Moser has achieved great international success, appearing in solo recitals and as a soloist
with renowned orchestras, and collaborating with conductors such as Andris Nelsons, Wojciech Rajski,
and Fuad Ibrahimov. Benjamin appears on various volumes of the Ruhr Piano Festival recordings;
CAvi-music released The Last Sonatas by Beethoven and Schubert.