New CD/Download Information from pianist Nick van Bloss/Nimbus Alliance Records – Chopin Preludes Op. 28 [*]
Artist: Nick van Bloss
Repertoire: 24 Preludes Op.28 & Sonata No. 3 in B minor Op.58
Catalogue No: NI6215 
Discs: CD1 Standard Jewel Case
UK PPD: £8.70
UK Release: 1st October 2013
The last of Chopin’s three sonatas for piano was finished in 1844. The piano writing is at once perfect for the instrument and taxing for the pianist because everything is so clear that even the smallest error or misjudgement of dynamics makes itself heard.
Chopin’s Preludes have come to be regarded as one of the monuments of the early Romantic movement in music, he worked on the Preludes between 1836 and 1839 but it is feasible that they were in his mind before that. The idea of a set of 24 pieces in all keys obviously stems from Bach’s ‘48’, but Chopin has gone about the task in his own way.
Nick van Bloss was born in London and began piano lessons at the age of 11. His musical training began as a chorister at Westminster Abbey and he entered the Royal College of Music at the age of 15 as a Junior, attending full time from the age of 17, studying with Yonty Solomon and winning prizes for his playing. Further studies were with Benjamin Kaplan. In 1987, on hearing him play, the great Russian virtuoso, Tatiana Nikoleyeva, described van Bloss as the ‘finished article of a pianist’.
In 1994, aged 26, Nick van Bloss played a televised recital in Poland at the Chopin Festival. This proved to be his last public appearance before he retired from playing completely for 15 years. During these years van Bloss rarely touched a piano, but he did write his autobiographical memoir ‘Busy Body’, which was published, to much acclaim, in 2006. The following year he was the subject of a BBC ‘Horizon’ documentary, inspired by his book, exploring his creativity. This documentary led to interest in his piano playing and, in 2008, he began a series of recordings with award-winning producer Michael Haas.
In April 2009, van Bloss made a ‘comeback’ concert at London’s Cadogan Hall, playing a concerto by Bach and Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ Concerto with the English Chamber Orchestra. The concert, uniformly reviewed as a ‘Triumph’ by London’s critics, attracted massive media interest from all over the world.
Writing for ‘The Times’, critic, Hilary Finch said:
“What we heard in the (Bach) Concerto in G minor was playing with the clear articulation of a harpsichord and the full resonance of a Steinway grand. And throughout, the strongly structured playing was dappled with dynamic nuance. And, in his Beethoven Emperor Concerto…Van Bloss’s concentration was total, as if great reserves of inner strength were being loaded, only to be released, first in a long, crystalline trill, and then in the striding rhythms which it charged. Each note had ringing resonance; each phrase an instinctive flexibility – and this made heart-felt song of the wonderfully exploratory slow movement. The exuberance of the hard-won finale was palpable – and the hall rose to its feet. And now van Bloss must be invited by a major orchestra.”
Recent performances have been in the United States and the UK with the English Chamber Orchestra, and recitals and concertos, with van Bloss directing from the keyboard in London, Japan, Europe and Scandinavia. Further details are at www.nickvanbloss.com
A movie about Nick’s life is currently in development. Future recording plans include Beethoven “Diabelli Variations”, a selection of Mozart Sonatas and a series of Mozart Piano Concertos with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra – directed by van Bloss from the piano.
Previous CD Releases
Nick’s recording of Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’ (NI6136), released in January 2011 by Nimbus Records, was met with universal acclaim.
“Blissful freshness of approach…delicious…fascinating” International Piano Magazine
“…sublime poetry, playfulness and, above all, a relish of what the modern piano can bring to this music in terms of dynamics, colour and articulation.” The Sunday Times
“…precision is paramount, and van Bloss employs it here to mesmerizing effect…” The Independent
“The fluidity of line, the unforced lyricism – not always thought an allowable word with Bach, but just listen to this – and the clarity of structure and counterpoint make you sit up.” The Observer
“…sophisticated, imaginative voice-leadings that yield no quarter to Perahia, Schiff…” Gramophone
“This CD will dispel any doubts about the level of his artistry…I found its joie de vivre irresistible” The Telegraph
Nick’s second CD – Bach Keyboard Concertos (NI6141) was released in late 2011 – and was greeted with even more praise.
“Van Bloss’s big-boned playing style is attractive and charismatic, and he delights in the opportunities offered by a modern concert grand.” The Arts Desk
“Amid a plethora of Bach’s Keyboard Concertos, many of them recent, van Bloss can claim the remarkable achievement of creating a thoroughly distinctive sound. No one else matches the crystalline clarity of his fingerings, his ability to find motifs and figures hidden in the textures, and his hypnotic driving sense of pulse…the English Chamber Orchestra is infected by his inspiration…” BBC Music Magazine
“…a stroke of genius…van Bloss’s touch is a delight for its delicate fluidity, overall lyricism and sense of playfulness…van Bloss’s sensitive delivery means the piano sounds surprisingly right …” Classic fM Magazine
“‘Engrossing, insightful music-making which at its best, certainly has the capacity to astonish…tautly sprung rhythms and deftly meticulous touch, imbue van Bloss’s playing of the faster outer movements with a vitality suggestive of Gould at his most penetratingly incisive…infectious verve…life-enhancing energy…wistfully introspective … touching sensitivity” International Record Review
‘There’s a deep emotional response at work…The piano spins long, expressive lines worthy of any string instrument…” International Piano
“Album of the Week” The Independent
Additional Details & Marketing
The CD will be fully serviced to all UK classical music press and radio and key media overseas. Advertising will include major classical music magazines and publications.
Interviews with Nick van Bloss can be quickly arranged.
Please address requests for review copies and/or interview to firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick van Bloss - Chopin - Press Release (97.4 KiB)