A treasure island of piano music — Spiegel Online
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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… ”


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

The Artist(s)

Nicolas Horvath Nicolas Horvath is an unusual artist with an unconventional résumé. He began his music studies at the Académie de Musique Prince Rainier III de Monaco, and at the age 16, he caught the attention of the American conductor Lawrence Foster who helped him to secure a three-year scholarship from the Princess Grace Foundation in order to further his studies. His mentors include a number of distinguished international pianists. Known for his boundary-less musical explorations, Horvath is an enthusiastic promoter of contemporary music. He has commissioned numerous works and collaborated with leading contemporary composers from around the world including Philip Glass.

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.


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


“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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