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Retrospective: French Sonatas
Frederick Delius, Maurice Ravel, César Franck

Ittai Shapira | Jeremy Denk

Retrospective: French Sonatas

Price: € 19.95 13.97
Format: CD
Label: Champs Hill
UPC: 5060212591470
Catnr: CHRCD 082
Release date: 04 May 2018
old €19.95 new € 13.97
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19.95 13.97
old €19.95 new € 13.97
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Label
Champs Hill
UPC
5060212591470
Catalogue number
CHRCD 082
Release date
04 May 2018
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN

About the album

Available for the first time on Champs Hill Records, violinist Ittai Shapira’s 1999 disc was recorded in the Music Room at Champs Hill and initially released on the Quartz label.

Bringing together sonatas by Delius (Op Posth), Ravel (No 2 in G Major) and Franck (A Major), Shapira was fascinated to explore what “french’ sound really meant to him, along with pianist Jeremy Denk.

Shapira says " While heavily associated as part of the French repertoire, each piece has its own distinct sound, while integrating influences and reaching to other cultures: Blues, Gamelan, and British. A distinct sound that stays in one's memory while bridging cultures is what I aim for to this day, 17 years after recording these works, both as performer and composer.”

Artist(s)

Ittai Shapira (violin)

Ittai Shapira is both a violinist and a composer. Described by the NY Times as “an Israeli dynamo with a flourishing solo violin career” he has performed widely with international orchestras. He has recently premiered and recorded his Concerto for Violin and Cello, “Sephardic Journeys”, coupled with his Violin and Clarinet Concerto, a multidisciplinary project in close collaboration with Sir Salman Rushdie and visual artist, Alexander Klingspor.
more
Ittai Shapira is both a violinist and a composer. Described by the NY Times as “an Israeli dynamo with a flourishing solo violin career” he has performed widely with international orchestras. He has recently premiered and recorded his Concerto for Violin and Cello, “Sephardic Journeys”, coupled with his Violin and Clarinet Concerto, a multidisciplinary project in close collaboration with Sir Salman Rushdie and visual artist, Alexander Klingspor.

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Jeremy Denk (piano)

Jeremy Denk is one of America’s foremost pianists. Winner of a MacArthur 'Genius' Fellowship, and the Avery Fisher Prize, Denk was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Denk returns frequently to Carnegie Hall and has recently performed with the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Cleveland Orchestra, as well as at the BBC Proms
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Jeremy Denk is one of America’s foremost pianists. Winner of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, and the Avery Fisher Prize, Denk was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Denk returns frequently to Carnegie Hall and has recently performed with the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Cleveland Orchestra, as well as at the BBC Proms
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Composer(s)

Maurice Ravel

Joseph Maurice Ravel was a French composer who is often associated with impressionism along with his elder contemporary Claude Debussy, although both composers rejected the term. In the 1920s and 1930s Ravel was internationally regarded as France's greatest living composer. Born to a music-loving family, Ravel attended France's premier music college, the Paris Conservatoire; he was not well regarded by its conservative establishment, whose biased treatment of him caused a scandal. After leaving the Conservatoire Ravel found his own way as a composer, developing a style of great clarity, incorporating elements of baroque, neoclassicism and, in his later works, jazz. He liked to experiment with musical form, as in his best-known work, Boléro (1928), in which repetition takes the place of...
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Joseph Maurice Ravel was a French composer who is often associated with impressionism along with his elder contemporary Claude Debussy, although both composers rejected the term. In the 1920s and 1930s Ravel was internationally regarded as France's greatest living composer.
Born to a music-loving family, Ravel attended France's premier music college, the Paris Conservatoire; he was not well regarded by its conservative establishment, whose biased treatment of him caused a scandal. After leaving the Conservatoire Ravel found his own way as a composer, developing a style of great clarity, incorporating elements of baroque, neoclassicism and, in his later works, jazz. He liked to experiment with musical form, as in his best-known work, Boléro (1928), in which repetition takes the place of development. He made some orchestral arrangements of other composers' music, of which his 1922 version of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition is the best known.
As a slow and painstaking worker, Ravel composed fewer pieces than many of his contemporaries. Among his works to enter the repertoire are pieces for piano, chamber music, two piano concertos, ballet music, two operas, and eight song cycles; he wrote no symphonies and only one religious work. Many of his works exist in two versions: a first, piano score and a later orchestration. Some of his piano music, such as Gaspard de la nuit (1908), is exceptionally difficult to play, and his complex orchestral works such as Daphnis et Chloé (1912) require skilful balance in performance.

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Frederick Delius

Frederick Delius was an English composer. Born in the north of England to a prosperous mercantile family. He was sent to Florida in the United States in 1884 to manage an orange plantation. There he soon neglected his managerial duties, and in 1886 returned to Europe. Having been influenced by African-American music during his short stay in Florida, he began composing. After a brief period of formal musical study in Germany beginning in 1886, he embarked on a full-time career as a composer in Paris and then in nearby Grez-sur-Loing, where he and his wife Jelka lived for the rest of their lives, except during the First World War. Delius's first successes came in Germany, where Hans Haym and other conductors...
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Frederick Delius was an English composer. Born in the north of England to a prosperous mercantile family. He was sent to Florida in the United States in 1884 to manage an orange plantation. There he soon neglected his managerial duties, and in 1886 returned to Europe. Having been influenced by African-American music during his short stay in Florida, he began composing. After a brief period of formal musical study in Germany beginning in 1886, he embarked on a full-time career as a composer in Paris and then in nearby Grez-sur-Loing, where he and his wife Jelka lived for the rest of their lives, except during the First World War.
Delius's first successes came in Germany, where Hans Haym and other conductors promoted his music from the late 1890s. In Delius's native Britain, it was 1907 before his music made regular appearances in concert programmes, after Thomas Beecham took it up. After 1918 Delius began to suffer the effects of syphilis, contracted during his earlier years in Paris. He became paralysed and blind, but completed some late compositions between 1928 and 1932 with the aid of an amanuensis, Eric Fenby.
The lyricism in Delius's early compositions reflected the music he had heard in America and the influences of European composers such as Edvard Grieg and Richard Wagner. As his skills matured, he developed a style uniquely his own, characterised by his individual orchestration and his uses of chromatic harmony. Delius's music has been only intermittently popular, and often subject to critical attacks. The Delius Society, formed in 1962 by his more dedicated followers, continues to promote knowledge of the composer's life and works, and sponsors the annual Delius Prize competition for young musicians.

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César Franck

César Franck was simultaneously a child prodigy and a late bloomer. His parents quickly discovered his enormous talent, but they were mostly interested in the money and fame that he might generate. Because of this, he was presented as a piano virtuoso, without a focus on composition. Unfortunately, his virtuoso career was less promising then they had hoped, and he started earning his money more as a teacher and organist. Composing stayed in the background, but in the mean time he did get some notable students, such as Henri Duparc. After a while, a sort of 'Franck school' of students arose, albeit against his will, who affectionately called him ‘Pater seraphicus’. It was not until he was 50 before he started...
more
César Franck was simultaneously a child prodigy and a late bloomer. His parents quickly discovered his enormous talent, but they were mostly interested in the money and fame that he might generate. Because of this, he was presented as a piano virtuoso, without a focus on composition. Unfortunately, his virtuoso career was less promising then they had hoped, and he started earning his money more as a teacher and organist. Composing stayed in the background, but in the mean time he did get some notable students, such as Henri Duparc. After a while, a sort of "Franck school" of students arose, albeit against his will, who affectionately called him ‘Pater seraphicus’. It was not until he was 50 before he started to receive some acclaim as a composer, and from his 52nd he started a very prolific period, lasting until his death at the age of 68.
Nowadays, Franck is mostly known for his instrumental music, peaking at the famous Violin Sonata in A. Besides this work,, his small collection of organ works was particularly influential.
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