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Autograph / Alexandre Tharaud

Tharaud,Alexandre
Release Date: 12/03/2013 
Label:  Erato   Catalog #: 34137   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachGabriel FauréJean-Philippe RameauChristoph W. Gluck,   ... 
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  


Notes and Editorial Reviews


Once upon a time before recitals became all too serious, pianists would finish their programs with an encore, or two, or three. Or maybe ten, if the pianist felt generous that night. Encores usually consisted of short, mostly recognizable pieces characterized by ear-tickling virtuosity or heart-melting sentiment. Over time, certain encores and artists became joined at the hip, so to speak. For example, audiences refused to budge until Myra Hess played “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”, or Vladimir Horowitz eased into his signature Schumann “Traumerei”. Although encores usually seemed effortless and tossed off, the best pianists always lavished lots of time polishing and perfecting these babies. And so
Read more it is with the 23 encores Alexandre Tharaud has selected for this newest Erato/Warner Classics release titled Autograph.

Not only does he imbue each piece with a specific and individual character or sound world, but he also orders them into a unified, well-contrasted entity that you can listen to without ever feeling overly sated. More importantly, Tharaud’s attention to detail, voicing, and timing allows each piece to emerge as if newly minted rather than old hat.

The unusually brisk pace he chooses for Grieg’s Wedding Day at Troldhaugen liberates this music from too many memories of heavy-handed performances, while Chopin’s Minute Waltz takes some delightful curves and dips on the dance floor. The Gluck/Siloti Dance of the Blessed Spirits evokes many a Romantic-era piano legend for three-dimensional melody/accompaniment separation, although I prefer the better-known Sgambati transcription’s leaner, airier keyboard deployment. If Tharaud doesn’t best Martha Argerich’s repeated-note speed record in the K. 141 Scarlatti sonata, he nails the ornaments in Rameau’s Les Sauvages with arguably more rhythmic exactitude and swagger than in his earlier Harmonia Mundi recording.

Then there’s that delightfully Poulenc-ish Tourbillon by Oscar Strasnoy alongside an authentic Poulenc minor masterpiece, Mélancolie, while Tharaud shows off his impressive transcribing chops in the Adagietto from Bizet’s L’Arlesienne and the Andante from the Bach/Vivaldi Concerto BWV 979. The booklet notes include an insightful interview with Tharaud, plus an interesting essay that discusses the art of the encore in its historical context. This is an absolutely enchanting, beautifully engineered disc, and not just for piano fans.

-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Clavier-Büchlein Vor W.F. Bach: Prelude in B minor by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Leipzig, Germany 
2.
Romances sans paroles (3) for Piano, Op. 17: no 3 in A flat major by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1863; France 
3.
Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin: no 14, Les sauvages by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1729-1730; France 
4.
Orfeo ed Euridice: Dance of the Blessed Spirits by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1762/1774; Vienna, Austria 
5.
Morceaux de fantaisies (5), Op. 3: no 2, Prélude in C sharp minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
6.
Morceaux (6) for Piano, Op. 19: no 4, Nocturne in C sharp minor by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873; Russia 
7.
Lyric Pieces (6), Book 8, Op. 65: no 6, Wedding day at Trolhaugen by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; Norway 
8.
Kuolema: Valse triste, Op. 44 no 1 by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903-1904; Finland 
9.
Pieces (2) for Piano left hand, Op. 9: no 1, Prélude in C sharp minor by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1894; Russia 
10.
Songs without words, vol 6, Op. 67: no 2, Allegro leggiero in F sharp minor by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845; Germany 
11.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, B 164/Op. 64: no 1 in D flat major "Minute Waltz" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Paris, France 
12.
Carnival of the animals: no 13, The swan by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; France 
13.
Pièces de clavecin, Book 3: Ordre 18 in F minor/F major - Le tic-toc-choc ou Les maillotins by François Couperin
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1722; Paris, France 
14.
Pièces posthumes (5) for Piano: no 4, Feuillet d'album by Emmanuel Chabrier
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1889; France 
15.
Sonata for Harpsichord in D minor, K 141/L 422 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
16.
L'arlésienne: Suite no 1 - 4th movement, Adagietto by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; France 
17.
Danzas: Adiós a Cuba by Ignacio Cervantes
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)
18.
Mélancolie by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; France 
19.
Paisajes (3): no 2, El lago by Federico Mompou
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; Spain 
20.
Gymnopédies (3) for Piano: no 3, Lent et grave by Erik Satie
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1888; France 
21.
Concerto in B minor after an unknown composer, BWV 979: Andante by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud (Piano)

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