WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Life / Igor Levit

Release Date: 10/05/2018 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 542445  
Composer:  Ferruccio BusoniJohann Sebastian BachRobert SchumannFrederic Rzewski,   ... 
Performer:  Igor Levit
Number of Discs: 2 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
On sale!
CD:  $15.99
In Stock

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Igor Levit’s new album LIFE, one that is highly personal for him, is an imaginary recital with a vast emotional range - from tender intimacy (Schumann’s “Ghost” Variations, Bill Evans’s “Peace Piece”) to the sublime and monumental (Liszt-Busoni’s “Ad nos”). This celebrated pianist and impassioned intellectual poses as a spirited yet profound guide to regions of music that ask the big questions of human existence – questions about meaning and permanence, inner peace, memory and redemption. On LIFE, Levit reflects at the keyboard on the experience of loss, hovering between grief and despair, resignation and solace. He has chosen works whose bleak grandeur and melancholy
Read more beauty have occupied him for years. Each of them is a tribute to the virtuosic potential of the piano. Poetic moments of quiet contemplation confront life-affirming, highly sensual music of immediate spellbinding physicality.

Levit’s deliberately subjective selection extends from 1720 to 2012, from Bach to Frederic Rzewski. LIFE effortlessly crosses borders between eras, styles and genres, offering a multitude of new discoveries. More than ever before, you appreciate the individuality and immense curiosity of an artist who has already set standards with some of the supreme masterpieces of Bach and Beethoven.



The way Levit has formed this program is extraordinarily effective. The Brahms reworking for left hand of Bach’s D minor violin Chaconne is a probing, introverted affair; his imbuing of the single, melodic line with light and shade is wonderfully effective. This is a fascinating, compelling set that demands to be heard.

– Gramophone Read less

Works on This Recording

Fantasia after Johann Sebastian Bach for Piano, K 253 by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Igor Levit (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; Berlin, Germany 
Partita for Violin solo no 2 in D minor, BWV 1004: 5th movement, Chaconne by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Igor Levit (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Variations for Piano on an original theme "Geisterthema" by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Igor Levit (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854; Germany 
Dreams, Part 1: III. A Mensch by Frederic Rzewski
Performer:  Igor Levit (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: United States 
March to the Grail from Wagner's "Parsifal", S 450 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Igor Levit (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1882; Weimar, Germany 
Fantasia and Fugue on "Ad nos salutarem undam" S 624 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Igor Levit (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1850; Weimar, Germany 
Isolde's "Liebestod" from Wagner's "Tristan", S 447 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Igor Levit (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; Weimar, Germany 
Elegies (7) for Piano, K 249: no 7, Berceuse by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Igor Levit (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; Berlin, Germany 
Peace Piece by Bill Evans
Performer:  Igor Levit (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 A young pianist breathes life into the music. February 5, 2019 By Howard Haimes (Arlington, VA) See All My Reviews "Igor Levit is on a roll, with many fine recordings. Indeed it is refreshing to hear him standard repertoire with new meaning. His interpretations are both meaningful, but not staid. His playing of Wagner and Bach seal his place as a current standard-bearer of young novel interpreters. I thoroughly enjoy this among others in my collection." Report Abuse
 Heartfelt recital November 29, 2018 By Michael P. (San Francisco, CA) See All My Reviews "This is an excellent traversal of pieces, known and somewhat unknown. Levit's playing is uniformly outstanding, never going over the top in even the most difficult passages. You don't need to know that this collection was assembled as a reflection on the death of a close friend of his, but it does make for a different and more intense listening experience. But the music stands on its own, too." Report Abuse
Review This Title