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Liszt Piano Works
Franz Liszt

Emmanuel Despax

Liszt Piano Works

Price: € 22.95
Format: CD
Label: Signum Classics
UPC: 0635212079829
Catnr: SIGCD 798
Release date: 07 June 2024
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2 CD
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Label
Signum Classics
UPC
0635212079829
Catalogue number
SIGCD 798
Release date
07 June 2024
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN

About the album

Emmanuel Despax’s eighth release for Signum Classics delves into the dramatic and visionary world of Franz Liszt, from the great Sonata in B minor to the celestail Benediction de Deur dans la solitude. Despax offers a unique perspective on Liszt’s work through a very personal connection to the composer. His musical upbringing is rooted in a lineage of mentors which traces back to Liszt, creating a deep connection to the composer’s legacy. Despax comments “This lineage has deeply influenced my musical upbringing, instilling a unique perspective on interpretation, fostering an insatiable curiosity...emphasising engaging with the score with utmost integrity, without shortcuts or compromise. Above all, this tradition signifies a performance ethos...to serve as a conduit between the music and the audience”.

Artist(s)

Emmanuel Despax (piano)

Emmanuel Despax has gained worldwide recognition as a singular artist, whose interpretations bring a rare sincerity and imagination to the music. A remarkable performer of romantic and post- romantic music, he has been invited to give recital performances in the UK (Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Chipping Campden and Petworth Festivals, and the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham, where he was appointed artistic director in 2020 of a complete Beethoven piano sonata cycle); in France (Louvre Auditorium, Salle Cortot, Salle Gaveau, International Festival Les Nuits Pianistiques in Aix-en-Provence, L’été Musical au Poujoula, and Les Nuits du Château de la Moutte in Saint-Tropez); Benelux (Amsterdam, The Hague and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels); Cyprus (Pharos Arts Foundation); Italy (Fazioli auditorium); and in South America. Past engagements include two tours of New Zealand, hailed by critics for his recitals in the prestigious Fazioli...
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Emmanuel Despax has gained worldwide recognition as a singular artist, whose interpretations bring a rare sincerity and imagination to the music.
A remarkable performer of romantic and post- romantic music, he has been invited to give recital performances in the UK (Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Chipping Campden and Petworth Festivals, and the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham, where he was appointed artistic director in 2020 of a complete Beethoven piano sonata cycle); in France (Louvre Auditorium, Salle Cortot, Salle Gaveau, International Festival Les Nuits Pianistiques in Aix-en-Provence, L’été Musical au Poujoula, and Les Nuits du Château de la Moutte in Saint-Tropez); Benelux (Amsterdam, The Hague and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels); Cyprus (Pharos Arts Foundation); Italy (Fazioli auditorium); and in South America.
Past engagements include two tours of New Zealand, hailed by critics for his recitals in the prestigious Fazioli International Piano Series in Auckland and concerto performances with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. In the UK, Emmanuel Despax has also played with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestras, among others. He is also regularly broadcast on Medici TV, France Musique, BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. His work as a talented broadcaster has included presenting a probing and approachable edition of BBC Radio 3’s Inside Music, and he is already amassing an impressive, critically acclaimed discography.
In addition to his recording of Brahms Piano Concerto No.1 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Andrew Litton, prior releases include ‘Spira, Spera’ (Bach transcriptions) which was awarded Critics’ Choice in International Piano (“Despax is awe-inspiring in his combination of virtuosity and intellectual grasp”). His concerto debut featured Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 2 and Stephen Goss Piano Concerto, and his collection of Chopin preludes was Classic FM’s “Album of the Week” and awarded five stars in Diapason. Despax also released a piano fantasy based on the themes of The Sound of Music in celebration of the musical’s 60th anniversary.
His 2021 album of Chopin’s piano concerti with the Chineke! Chamber Ensemble, was chosen as “Album of the Week” by Classic FM and The Times: “[The result] is entrancing, with piano and string quintet intimately interweaving...Despax’s opening statement arrives like a blast of dynamite. Though he sinks happily into meltingly lovely reverie when Chopin’s intentions allow, he’s driven mostly by dark energy and muscular strength. In doing so, Despax reveals to us the music of a 20-year-old already stretching beyond decorative brilliance towards the powerful expression of contradictory, sometimes troubling emotions.” His latest album release, Après un rêve, on Signum Records, has also gained recognition in The Times and Classic FM as “Album of the Week” and received a 5-star review in BBC Music Magazine: “Despax is a formidable pianist, thoughtful and imaginative. Like an expert painter at the canvas, he carefully layers and tones sound, expertly measuring touch and pedal. This is beautiful playing, on an elegant yet substantial album.” Born in Paris and now based in London, Emmanuel Despax started playing the piano in Aix-en-Provence before joining the Yehudi Menuhin School, then the Royal College of Music in London, studying with Ruth Nye, one of Claudio Arrau’s star students. He won numerous awards during his studies (Chappell Medal, Tagore Gold Medal), and benefited from the advice of Nikolai Demidenko, Leon Fleisher, Yehudi Menuhin, Dominique Merlet, Mstislav Rostropovich, Murray Perahia and András Schiff.
For this upcoming season, Emmanuel looks forward to collaborating with the Piatti Quartet at Kings Place followed by multiple solo and chamber performances at London’s brand new Bechstein Hall.

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Composer(s)

Franz Liszt

If you would open any biography of Franz Liszt, you would probably mostly read about his disquiet life as a piano virtuoso, his passionate love life, and the return to his catholic roots at the end of his life. Although all of this might be true, it only scratches the surface of his comprehensive musical personality. Liszt was a pianist, conductor, teacher and organiser, but above all he was a composer of a voluminous, capricious body of work. Even though his piano works formed his core business, he gave rise to the symphonic poem, got rid of the organ's stuffy appearance, and reinvigorated the oratorio. Moreover, with his piano transciptions of Bach's organ works and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, he was an...
more

If you would open any biography of Franz Liszt, you would probably mostly read about his disquiet life as a piano virtuoso, his passionate love life, and the return to his catholic roots at the end of his life. Although all of this might be true, it only scratches the surface of his comprehensive musical personality. Liszt was a pianist, conductor, teacher and organiser, but above all he was a composer of a voluminous, capricious body of work. Even though his piano works formed his core business, he gave rise to the symphonic poem, got rid of the organ's stuffy appearance, and reinvigorated the oratorio. Moreover, with his piano transciptions of Bach's organ works and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, he was an advocate of both old and new music.
Together with his son-in-law Richard Wagner, he was in the forefront of the Romantic movement and anticipated the musical revolutions of the early 20th century with his new composition techniques.


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