A treasure island of piano music — Spiegel Online
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RAFF, Joachim (1822-1882)

PIANO WORKS • 1

BALLADE • SCHERZO • METAMORPHOSEN • FRÜHLINGSBOTEN • FANTAISIE


  • Tra Nguyen, piano

Although Raff is remembered primarily as one of the foremost symphonists of his day, by far his largest output was for the piano. The three works recorded here date from his early years in Weimar, and include the newly-discovered Fantaisie. One of Raff’s first successes, Frühlingsboten portrays nature in many-layered miniature scenes. The Drei Klavier-Soli concludes with one of Raff’s greatest piano pieces, Metamorphosen.

Tracklist

 
Fruhlingsboten, Op. 55 (1852) (00:00:00 )
1
I. Winterruhe: Andantino * (00:01:54)
2
II. Fruhlingsnahen: Allegro non troppo, deciso * (00:04:35)
3
III. Gelubde: Grave * (00:03:51)
4
IV. Unruhe: Allegro * (00:01:52)
5
V. Annaherung: Andantino * (00:02:45)
6
VI. Wirrniss: Vivace * (00:02:23)
7
VII. Vorwurf: Andante non troppo * (00:04:07)
8
VIII. Fern: Andantino * (00:01:56)
9
IX. Frohe Kunde: Presto * (00:02:27)
10
X. Zu zwei: Andante * (00:02:34)
11
XI. Ohne Ruh': Allegro * (00:02:57)
12
XII. Abends: Larghetto * (00:04:09)
 
3 Klavier-Soli, Op. 74 (1852) (00:00:00 )
13
No. 1. Ballade: Andantino, quasi larghetto * (00:10:33)
14
No. 2. Scherzo: Presto * (00:06:11)
15
No. 3. Metamophosen: Andante * (00:12:24)
16
Fantasie in B Major, WoO 15A (1852) * (00:12:09)
World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:16:47

The Artist

British-Vietnamese Tra Nguyen’s imaginative programming balances core repertoire and lesser-known music, winning critical praise. Her discography introduces many world première recordings of neglected music. Her recordings of Joachim Raff’s piano music have earned wide critical acclaim, including Album of the Week awards by The Independent. Tra Nguyen studied with Lev Naumov at the Moscow Conservatory and with Christopher Elton at the Royal Academy of Music where she received the Academy’s highest award for her final recital. She was awarded the ARAM (Associate of the Royal Academy of Music) for her “significant contribution to the music profession” in 2013.

Reviews

“Nguyen is clearly aware of Raff’s historical lineage and imbues his music with what seems like the perfect dynamic of energy, drama, light and pathos. Her excellent technique and expressive flexibility—for example, demonstrating restraint where another might turn to melodrama—combine to produce interpretations that will long serve as a yardstick against which future performers must measure themselves. ” – MusicWeb International

“Tra Nguyen makes the best possible case for all these works and has been well recorded on a splendidly voiced Steinway at Wyastone.” – Gramophone

The Independent

“This new label is starting with an interesting “new” composer, since Joachim Raff (1822–1882) has been totally overshadowed by his contemporary Liszt. Tra Nguyen shows what an original and brilliant voice Raff’s is: the colour and inventiveness of his Metamorphosen is entirely his own.” – The Independent

“The playing is of a beguiling loveliness, the recording has richness and depth, and the music, a revelation, makes one eager for the next volume.” – American Record Guide

“Hats off! Anyone who is seriously interested in piano music should check out Grand Piano for an extended test drive in their home CD player.” – The Listener