Notes and Editorial Reviews
Born in Greece in 1978, George Emmanuel Lazaridis enjoys a flourishing international career that has taken him from the US and Mexico to Europe, Russia, Egypt and the Middle East. He has performed in major venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Barbican, Birmingham's Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw, the St. Petersburg Philharmonia Hall, Palais des Beaux Arts, Festspielhaus, Cologne's Philharmonie, Stockholm's Konserthuset, Vienna's Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Athens Megaron, the Palace of the Arts, Budapest.
The "Wanderer" Fantasy and the B flat major Sonata have made part of George Lazaridis's repertoire since his student days. His affinity with the music of Schubert becomes clearly evident from the
very first notes of the little A major Sonata in this recording and he brings to it the sheer lyricism and freshness which are characteristic of this work. Schubert composed it in the summer of 1819 while on a carefree holiday in the idyllic town of Steyr.
Schubert composed the "Wanderer" Fantasy in 1822, a truly magnificent and technically challenging, large-scale work in which the four movements are continuous, each movement progressing organically into the next, combining a theme-and-variations with sonata form. Lazaridis clearly relishes the formidable technical and interpretative challenges inherent in this work; his playing is sharply focused and never less than compelling.
This is also reflected in a review received after his recital in New York's Merkin Hall on 13th October 2013:- "Lazaridis opened with Schubert's "Wanderer" Fantasy: this was an epic performance with a clear trajectory and denouement, through the cruelly difficult, relentless counterpoint of the big block chords in the opening allegro movement and a vividly cantabile take of the adagio followed by a dazzling climb to the big, Beethovenesque climax at the end."
Lazaridis's Schubert recital on this disc ends with the sublime B flat major Sonata D960. This is best described by Robert Matthew-Walker in the booklet notes accompanying the disc: "In the last months of his life, and in less than six weeks, Schubert wrote his last three piano sonatas, all three as much masterpieces as were Mozart's final three symphonies. This Sonata in B flat major is the last one of all, as Robert Simpson claimed, 'a measured and compassionate utterance of complete and profoundly sublime beneficence.' ...This masterpiece has the capacity to renew and refresh the listener with every hearing, a testament to human creativity as valid today as when the composer vouchsafed it to us -- one of the greatest and most serene piano works since Beethoven." _
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Works on This Recording
Piano Sonata No. 13 in A Major, Op. 120, D. 664: I. Allegro moderato
Piano Sonata No. 13 in A Major, Op. 120, D. 664: II. Andantino
Piano Sonata No. 13 in A Major, Op. 120, D. 664: III. Allegro
Fantasy in C Major, Op. 15, D. 760, "Wandererfantasie": I. Allegro con fuoco ma non troppo
Fantasy in C Major, Op. 15, D. 760, "Wandererfantasie": II. Adagio
Fantasy in C Major, Op. 15, D. 760, "Wandererfantasie": III. Presto
Fantasy in C Major, Op. 15, D. 760, "Wandererfantasie": IV. Allegro
Piano Sonata No. 21 in B-Flat Major, D. 960: I. Molto moderato
Piano Sonata No. 21 in B-Flat Major, D. 960: II. Andante sostenuto
Piano Sonata No. 21 in B-Flat Major, D. 960: III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace con delicatezza
Piano Sonata No. 21 in B-Flat Major, D. 960: IV. Allegro ma non troppo
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