New CD Information from Divine Art Records (October 2012)
I outline below the details of three new CD titles on the Divine Art/Métier labels, due for UK release on 22nd October 2012. The full press information for each release is attached as a PDF file.
DDA25105 “Russian Piano Music Volume 9 – Mieczyslaw Weinberg” – performed by Murray McLachlan
Mieczysław Weinberg was born in Warsaw in 1919, the son of a composer and violinist at a Jewish theatre. When he was only ten he began his musical career there as a pianist and music director; two years later he started piano studies at the Warsaw Conservatory. After the German invasion of Poland in 1939 he was forced to flee the country and he went to the USSR, initially to Minsk.
In 1943 Weinberg sent the score of his newly completed First Symphony to Shostakovich, asking for an opinion of the work. Shostakovich arranged for him to receive an official invitation to Moscow – of especial value in the war years – and thus their close friendship was born. From the end of August 1943 until his death in 1996, Weinberg lived in Moscow, working as a freelance composer. From time to time he also made highly regarded appearances as a pianist.
Weinberg was an extremely productive composer with an output ranging from a Requiem to circus music. He had a (perhaps not entirely fashionable) inclination towards large-scale, epic music; in this respect Mahler and Prokofiev were important role models. His musical style was extremely varied, however, and his richly-coloured palette ranges from folk elements to dodecaphonic techniques.
Like most Soviet composers, Weinberg wrote collections of short, lightweight pieces for piano solo such as the three Children’s Notebooks or the Easy Pieces, Op. 34, recorded here, but in view of his predilection for larger forms it is no surprise that the sonatas are the mainstays of his piano œuvre.
This is Volume 9 in the highly regarded series exploring Russian Solo Piano Music, and this Cd features the talents of Murray McLachlan.
DDA25108 Stephen Beville in Karlsruhe
Acclaimed as a ‘one of the most talented young musicians to emerge from the UK’ by the Frankfurter Neue Press, Stephen Beville made his ‘concerto debut’ while still at school, and has gone on to perform with orchestras such as the Baden-Philharmonie.
As soloist, Stephen has given recitals throughout Britain and Germany, his performances receiving outstanding reviews. He has participated in international festivals such as the Huddersfield Contemporary Music festival, the RNCM ‘Glories of the Keyboard’ and ‘American Reflections’ festivals, the ‘KlangRiffe’ festival of New Music (ZKM, Karlsruhe) and the London New Wind festival. In addition he has made recordings and given interviews for SWR (South West German Radio). This is his commercial CD recording debut. It is a 2CD package, priced as a single full price disc.
MSV28525 “Eric Craven – Set for Piano” – Realised and Performed by Mary Dullea
This collection of 12 pieces by Manchester born and based composer Eric Craven, maps out a journey from the known to the unknown, from the familiar to the experimental, from the directly linear to the serpentine twists and turns embodied in new discovery. At the end of the journey only the essentials are manifested; conventional melody and harmony, dynamics, articulation and phrasing distil into pure, refined pitch and, at this point, the music is completely stripped down enabling notes to float freely.
Craven’s compositional method bucks the trend for works where the tiniest nuance of every performance gesture is written into the score, producing incredible complexity and huge challenges for the performer. Set for Piano challenges performers in different ways, eventually drawing them right into the note to note procedure and inviting them to contribute to the form.
The music is realised and performed by Mary Dullea, a sought-after interpreter of new music. Mary’s expansive repertoire covers the standard piano literature as well as an ever-increasing amount of 20th- and 21st- century compositions, many of which are dedicated to her, through extensive commissions and premieres.
As usual, just let me know which samples you would like and I’ll mail on a first come, first served basis. Interviews can be arranged with key artists quite easily and quickly if you are interested. I look forward to hearing from you shortly. Review copies are available now. US/Canada journalists should request samples via the Divine Art office in Vermont – firstname.lastname@example.org