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2008 Award Winner Alexander Schimpf

Schimpf,Alexander / Mozart / Beethoven / Albeniz
Release Date: 07/27/2010 
Label:  Genuin Classics   Catalog #: 10181   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Claude DebussyAdrian SieberLudwig van BeethovenWolfgang Amadeus Mozart,   ... 
Performer:  Alexander Schimpf
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

ALEXANDER SCHIMPF Alexander Schimpf (pn) GENUIN 10181 (68:45)
This recording is under the aegis of the organization known as Deutscher Musikwettbewerb, an important German music competition dedicated to promoting the concert careers of its winners. Alexander Schimpf, now 29 years old, won the competition in 2008, and a year later took first prize in the Vienna Beethoven Piano Competition, the prestigious international competition whose previous winners include Mitsuko Uchida and Stefan Vladar. Schimpf’s choice of repertoire, and his performances on this disc, Read more indicate that his prizes were well deserved. He is a major talent, no doubt about it—an intelligent musician as well as a gifted master of keyboard technique.

Beethoven’s early variations, WoO 80, are often played for their virtuoso effect, but Schimpf emphasizes the overall shape of the set as it progresses dramatically from brilliant C Minor through a contemplative group in C Major, and finally returning to its original key and an exciting finale. Schimpf’s reading of the Sonata, op. 101, an enigmatic and unconventional work that exemplifies Beethoven’s transition to his late period, is beautiful; he opens the first movement tenderly, with simple expression, and doesn’t overdo the shock effect of the loud interruptions of the prevailing serenity. In the second movement he plays the dotted rhythms very crisply and managers the awkward leaps with agility. The finale is played brilliantly, with every line of its contrapuntal texture heard clearly. This is a masterly performance.

The short, intense work by the German composer Adrian Sieber (b.1975) was written in 2008. Sieber’s music is often influenced by literature, and this work, translated as “Moments—A Collection,” was inspired by a novel by the German writer Heinrich Böll. The impression of fleeting moments is certainly conveyed as the music is alternately abrasive and dreamy; it is a challenging work, and Schimpf makes interesting sense of it.

The tempo of the Mozart seems rather fast for its Andante tempo indication; although Schimpf’s timing is only half a minute longer than Schnabel’s, its bittersweet character feels a little rushed. Finally, the Albéniz “Almeria” receives a colorful, idiomatic reading; Schimpf clearly can identify with the colors and rhythms of Spanish music.

The recorded sound is full and natural. Adding to the top-notch quality of this recording are the superbly incisive analytic notes by the pianist, excellently translated into English. Strongly recommended.

FANFARE: Susan Kagan
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Works on This Recording

Préludes, Book 2 by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Alexander Schimpf (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912-1913; France 
Venue:  Siemensvilla, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 10 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Augenblicke - eine Sammlung, for piano by Adrian Sieber
Performer:  Alexander Schimpf (Piano)
Venue:  Siemensvilla, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Variations (32) for Piano in C minor on an Original Theme, WoO 80 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Alexander Schimpf (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1806; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Siemensvilla, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 11 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Sonata for Piano no 28 in A major, Op. 101 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Alexander Schimpf (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Siemensvilla, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 20 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Rondo for Piano no 3 in A minor, K 511 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Alexander Schimpf (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Siemensvilla, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 9 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Suite Iberia, Book 2: no 2, Almería by Isaac Albeniz
Performer:  Alexander Schimpf (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; France 
Venue:  Siemensvilla, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 9 Minutes 23 Secs. 

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