- Sort by Default Order
One of the pinnacles of nineteenth-century pianism, Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition broke new frontiers in its writing for the piano through its use of ringing bell-like sonorities, dramatic juxtaposition of registers and dynamics, its approach to resonance, percussive octaves and rapid hand-alternations, and sheer grandeur of sound. Introducing new ideas about virtuosity that owe much to orchestral thinking in the ways the full range of the piano’s tone-colours are explored, this work requires immense stamina through combining great finger dexterity with unbridled power. Mussorgsky’s masterpiece is coupled here with works by Ravel and Messiaen – composers who were indebted to the innovations of their Russian predecessor. Miroirs comprises a set of five pieces evoking contrasting moods and pianistic characters. Far from being Impressionist – a movement with which Ravel had little real affiliation –the ‘Mirrors’ of the title suggests more Symbolist associations in that the individual pieces explore ambiguities between supposed reality and ‘reflected’ simulation. Ravel was particularly fascinated by a line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: ‘the eye sees not itself, but by reflection, by some other things.’ An unusually non-descriptive work for Messiaen, without religious references or bird- song, Cantéyodjayâ is about musical process and is constructed as a mosaic-like collage in which a jaunty rhythmic refrain is contrasted with a multiplicity of contrasting ideas, many of which are re-workings from his gargantuan Turangalîla-Symphonie.
Celebrated international pianist Peter Donohoe begins a new series of Shostakovich releases on Signum Classics with a new recording of Dmitri Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87. All 24 of the preludes and fugues were composed within several months, after Shostakovich was inspired by the performance of Tatiana Nicolayeva, whom he heard as a jurist for the Leipzig Bach Competition in 1951. Although doubtlessly inspired by J.S. Bach’s own 48 Preludes and Fugues in his use of form and counterpoint, Shostakovich’s compositions are all deeply original and rooted in his own enigmatic and ambiguous style, moving from charming simplicity to dazzling virtuosity. ★★★★ Donohoe treats these piano miniatures with the utmost sincerity...there is immense dignity and power in Donohoe's directness - The Guardian This is top class, this is a global level, this is not to be missed! - Stretto Magazine
Celebrated international pianist Peter Donohoe continues his series of Shostakovich releases on Signum Classics, following his recent release of the 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87 (SIGCD396). For this new recording he is accompanied for the concertos by the Orchestra of the Swan under their artistic director David Curtis. ★★★★★ Donohoe’s needle-sharp articulation and firmness of tone set the nerves appropriately on edge, carving out the music’s contours with glacial insistence - The Scotsman ★★★★ Donohoe delivers a highly-charged and compelling account - BBC Music Magazine ★★★★ There is much to admire all told, and the sound-quality is consistently excellent - Classical Source Peter Donohoe turns in a stunning performance, relishing the required assaults on the lower reaches of the keyboard… a deeply satisfying disc - Music Web International