A treasure island of piano music — Spiegel Online
The Grand Piano label continues to uncover gems of the piano repertoire. — Fanfare

RÄÄTS, Jaan (b. 1932)

COMPLETE PIANO SONATAS • 1


  • Nicolas Horvath, piano

Jaan Rääts has written prolifically for the piano and his ten sonatas, spanning half a century, reveal his sophisticated control of expressive gestures. The composer himself has said: “I don’t like rigid systems. I like absorbing musical material, filtering it, emotionally developing it as needed. Using it as a springboard for my imagination… ”

Tracklist

 
Piano Sonata No. 9, Op. 76 (1985) (00:11:00 )
1
I. — (00:03:39)
2
II. — (00:02:08)
3
III. — (00:02:47)
4
Piano Sonata No. 10, Op. 114 (2000) (00:06:08)
 
Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 11, No. 1 (1959) (00:11:11 )
5
I. Allegro (00:01:56)
6
II. Grave (00:06:18)
7
III. Allegro (00:02:59)
 
Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 11, No. 2 (1959) (00:11:14 )
8
I. Moderato (00:02:56)
9
II. Allegro (00:01:42)
10
III. Grave (00:04:32)
11
IV. Energico (00:02:06)
 
Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 11, No. 3 (1959) (00:06:45 )
12
I. Largo (00:01:45)
13
II. Allegro (00:00:48)
14
III. Adagio, recitative (00:02:18)
15
IV. Allegro (00:01:57)
 
Piano Sonata No. 4, Op. 36, "Quasi Beatles" (1969) (00:07:21 )
16
I. — (00:02:18)
17
II. — (00:02:31)
18
III. — (00:02:38)
World Première Recording
Total Time: 00:51:26

The Artist(s)

Nicolas Horvath Horvath is an enthusiastic promoter of contemporary music; he has commissioned numerous works (including no fewer than 120 as part of his Homages to Philip Glass project in 2014) and collaborated with leading contemporary composers from around the world, including Régis Campo, Mamoru Fujieda, Jaan Rääts, Alvin Curran and Valentyn Silvestrov. He has become noted for the organisation of events and concerts of unusual length, sometimes lasting over twelve hours, such as the performance of the complete piano music of Philip Glass, and Erik Satie’s Vexations. In October 2015 he gave the closing day concert in the Estonia Gallery at the Expo World Exhibition in Milan with a programme of music by Jaan Rääts. A Steinway artist, his career as a virtuoso pianist has taken him to concert venues around the world, and he is also an electroacoustic composer.

The Composer(s)

The bulk of Rääts’ compositional output encompasses instrumental music, with ten symphonies and 24 concertos, an extensive catalogue of chamber music, and film scores. Rääts’ prolific body of work for piano includes the cycles 24 Preludes (1968), 24 Preludes to Estonian Folk Melodies (24 prelüüdi eesti rahvaviisidele, 1977), 24 Estonian Preludes (24 eesti prelüüdi, 1989), and three different series of miniatures entitled 24 Marginalia (24 marginaali – 1979 for piano solo, 1980 for electronics, and 1982 for two pianos). His ten piano sonatas span a half century of creativity, and are only just getting to be known to Western listeners.

Reviews

“A recording that will please both connoisseurs of Estonian music and amateurs seeking new discoveries” – Crescendo (France)

ResMusica.com

“Among his [Rääts’] works devoted to the piano, his ten sonatas stand out, undeservedly neglected, which French pianist Nicolas Horvath performs with passion, enthusiasm and verve… ” – ResMusica.com

“Nicholas Horvath seems in masterly command of Råäts’ often dark yet gleaming materials whether in propulsion or in the hypnotic doldrums.” – MusicWeb International


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