A treasure island of piano music — Spiegel Online
The Grand Piano label continues to uncover gems of the piano repertoire. — Fanfare
The Grand Piano Label Celebrates its 10th Anniversary
March 03, 2022

This month marks the 10th anniversary of Grand Piano Records, the classical label devoted to the exploration and discovery of unknown and neglected repertoire for the piano. To mark this significant milestone in the label’s short but distinguished history, Grand Piano has planned a raft of special projects that will take place throughout the rest of this year:

88 Keys
88 Keys
Three Centuries of Female Composers

• Five special boxed sets on interesting themes: new collections of award-winning albums from its catalogue will be launched starting with a 10-CD box of works by female composers down the centuries, available from the 4th of March, and 6 CDs spotlighting “The Age Golden of Pianist Composers” in April.

• A dynamic playlist of 88 representative tracks representing the 88 keys on a modern piano will be sited on Spotify and other streaming platforms.

• A newly curated playlist for Apple Music will showcase works by female composers throughout March.

• A limited-edition LP of music by Philip Glass will be released in November.

• Several online events and livestreams throughout the year will feature Grand Piano artists, who will discuss their projects and conduct virtual masterclasses.

Nicolas Horvath
Nicolas Horvath

Grand Piano’s recordings of music by female composers have generated particular interest and appreciation among the public and reviewers alike, an achievement that will be extended by an imminent series of albums dedicated to the complete piano works of French composer Germaine Tailleferre (1892–1983), who was the only female member of the distinctive group of French composers known as Les Six. A large part of her oeuvre, held in a private collection, has remained unpublished until now. Nicolas Horvath, who already has almost 20 outstanding Grand Piano recordings to his credit, has been selected to perform the first recordings of these works.

The label’s main noted feature is the production of complete cycles of piano works by numerous lesser-known composers that might otherwise have remained ignored and unrecorded. Such composers include Leopold Koželuch, Hélène de Montgeroult, Alexander Tcherepnin, Blagoje Bersa and Mieczsław Weinberg. Grand Piano artists are often authorities on these composers and experts on the chosen repertoire, giving their performances a unique stamp of authority.

Astrid Angvik
Astrid Angvik

Astrid Angvik, Grand Piano’s label director, expressed pride in the teamwork that had gone into producing an impressive and diverse catalogue that will reach 250 titles this year:

“Most of our albums so far feature world premiere recordings, covering repertoire from 40 different countries and every historical period, including works by living composers”, she said, adding that the programming is somewhat eclectic, ranging from Viennese classical sonatas to Argentine tangos and experimental music.

Gottlieb Wallisch
Gottlieb Wallisch
Nicholas Walker
Nicholas Walker

From the label’s numerous acclaimed releases, she highlighted Nicholas Walker’s admired edition of Balakirev’s complete piano works, which has been cited as the reference set to have by several publications; and Gottlieb Wallisch’s series of 20th Century Foxtrots, where the recent third instalment was picked by the New York Times for its 5 Things to Do This Weekend column, alongside major primetime TV shows on New Year’s Eve.

Klaus Heymann
Klaus Heymann

Founding chairman and CEO, Klaus Heymann, of Naxos Music Group, which owns Grand Piano added: “It’s been rewarding to see what started as a simple idea has blossomed and developed into a leading record label of the piano repertoire, and with a growing catalogue of excellent recordings of neglected works.”

A New Set of Planets – Piano Reflections by Tanya Ekanayaka (Interlude Magazine)
February 17, 2022
EKANAYAKA The Planets and Humanity – Piano Reflections

Released in May 2021, pianist-composer Tanya Ekanayaka’s third album for Grand Piano, titled The Planets and Humanity, extended its orbit with a recent commentary on the suite by Maureen Buja in the Hong Kong-based publication Interlude.

Read the full article here

Alvin Lucier (1931–2021)
December 07, 2021

All at Grand Piano were saddened to hear of the passing of the experimental American composer Alvin Lucier, who has died at the age of 90.

Born and raised in New Hampshire, Lucier graduated from Yale in 1954, subsequently studying with Aaron Copland and Lukas Foss at the Tanglewood Center before spending two years in Rome on a Fulbright Fellowship, from 1960 to 1962. There, he became enthralled with the avant-garde sound worlds of Luigi Nono, Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen and went on to co-found the Sonic Arts Union, a composition collective dedicated to exploring the nature of sound. That exploration would be his life’s calling.

ALVIN LUCIER Music for Piano XL

Lucier created a significant body of work which challenges some of the most fundamental definitions of music and performance, realising music material from sources that included amplified vases, clocks, a chest of drawers, even his own brain waves, focusing on acoustic phenomena and how listeners perceive it.

Grand Piano recently released one of his final works, a newly realised version of his Music for Piano with Slow Sweep Pure Wave Oscillators XL, which he wrote in 2020 for Nicolas Horvath, the performer on the album (GP857):

“It’s an immersive, intense and enigmatic work that transports the listener through the timbral possibilities of sonic interference. There are times when the sounds seem to move awkwardly or eerily; this is what Alvin was looking for … all those oddities that happen when the frequencies are very near to one another.”

Biljana Urban speaks with Phillip Nones about her latest album of music by Florent Schmitt
October 01, 2021

SCHMITT Piano Works (Solitude)

French composer Florent Schmitt (1870–1958) wrote a substantial number of works for piano over a period of more than fifty years. A surprising number of them, however, still await their first commercial recordings, in some cases more than a century after they were created. Biljana Urban’s latest release on the Grand Piano label (GP850) includes the world premiere recordings of five of them.

Phillip Nones, an authority on the music of Florent Schmitt, recently spoke with Biljana about her strategy in arriving at the programme for the album, how she became aware of and attracted to Schmitt’s output, her Francophile attachments, and the background to the recording’s production. He also gained an insight into the title of her latest release – Solitude.

To read the full article, which is posted on Phillip Nones’ website devoted to the composition, background and performance of Schmitt’s music, follow this link.

Tanya Ekanayaka features in International Piano
September 29, 2021

GRAND PIANO artist Tanya Ekanayaka is featured in the October edition of International Piano with regard to her third and latest release on the label. The Sri Lankan-British artist-scholar describes her article for the publication as “…entirely about my broader artistic vision as a South Asian female composer-pianist, in which I talk about aspects of my creative life and purpose which I have not shared previously publicly.”

BALAKIREV Complete Piano Works Vol. 4Released in May this year, Dr Ekanayaka’s latest album is titled The Planets and Humanity – Piano Reflections (GP879) in which she pairs planets in the Solar System with Earth’s seven continents: “Except for Antarctica, which has no permanent human population, my reflections on the remaining six continents involve ‘transcreations’ of six melodies originating from six indigenous peoples, namely the Asháninka, Cree, Gond, Hadzabe, Numbulwar and Sámi peoples.”

Follow this link to read the full article

Subscribe to International Piano to read the magazine