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Sorabji: 100 Transcendental Studies Vol 3 - Nos 44-62 / Fredrik Ullen

Sorabji / Ullen
Release Date: 10/26/2010 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1713  
Composer:  Kaikhosru Sorabji
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Refulgent hyper-Szymanowskian writing, angry dissonance, delightfully stirring jewelled veils.

Ullén and Bis stick to their last with the seriousness of purpose that goes with eminence and invincible confidence in Sorabji’s music. That confidence is securely placed. Sorabji drank deep of that confidence in calling these pieces Transcendental in the first place.

Ullén, with a loftiness and fantasy that recalls Busoni and Godowsky, shoots the kaleidoscopic rapids of Sorabji’s Transcendental Etudes. The shifting veils of lapidary complexity in No. 44 are played with intoxicating fluency – not mere technical proficiency. After such refulgent hyper-Szymanowskian writing we come to the angrily
Read more dissonant No. 45 which in its volleys of notes recalls Nancarrow. The galloping articulated ruthlessness of Nos. 46, 48, 51, 53, 62 55, 60 and 62 is blended with humour (55) and in 60 there’s Mussorgskian macabre alongside romantic afflatus. The sprinting Volante continues into the Vivace (49). After breathtaking display comes a more Apollonian mood in No. 50. A Medtnerian spirit is alive in No. 52. The jewelled veils shift delightfully in an Aeolian wind whispering through the pages of No 54. Romance plays high cards in the Moderato. No. 58 in its episodic flurries contrasts with the knowing Cyril Scott meditations of the Quasi fantasia (59).

This disc is the very acceptable sequel to the 100 Transcendental Etudes nos 1-25 by Fredrik Ullén on BIS 1373. Studies 26-43 are on BIS-CD-1533. Volume 1 was reviewed by me in 2006; Volume 2 in January 2010.

Presumably there are two more CDs to come after this. Can we hope that Bis will then have moved on to his six reputedly elaborate piano concertos and the truly epic symphonic and choral pieces by then? They will be an expensive proposition.

Ullen’s commentary on the Studies can be found at the Sorabji Archive.

Other notable Sorabji recordings have been reviewed here: Opus Clavicembalisticum (Geoffrey Douglas Madge), Transcriptions (Michael Habermann) and an extremely desirable three CD collection of Michael Habermann’s performances on the BMS label.

Elegance and power personified in these Transcendental Studies.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
100 Transcendental Studies: 44. Bin cantato. Dolce sciaro by Kaikhosru Sorabji
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1940-1944 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden 
Length: 15 Minutes 31 Secs. 
2.
100 Transcendental Studies: 45. (untitled) by Kaikhosru Sorabji
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1940-1944 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden 
Length: 1 Minutes 32 Secs. 
3.
100 Transcendental Studies: 46. (untitled) by Kaikhosru Sorabji
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1940-1944 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden 
Length: 2 Minutes 53 Secs. 
4.
100 Transcendental Studies: 47. Leggiero e a capriccio by Kaikhosru Sorabji
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1940-1944 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
5.
100 Transcendental Studies: 48. Volante by Kaikhosru Sorabji
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1940-1944 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden 
Length: 3 Minutes 22 Secs. 
6.
100 Transcendental Studies: 49. Vivace ma non troppo by Kaikhosru Sorabji
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1940-1944 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden 
Length: 2 Minutes 30 Secs. 
7.
100 Transcendental Studies: 50. Per il pedale 3 by Kaikhosru Sorabji
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1940-1944 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden 
Length: 5 Minutes 2 Secs. 
8.
100 Transcendental Studies: 51. (untitled) by Kaikhosru Sorabji
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1940-1944 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden 
Length: 3 Minutes 24 Secs. 
9.
100 Transcendental Studies: 52. (untitled) by Kaikhosru Sorabji
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1940-1944 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden 
Length: 3 Minutes 20 Secs. 
10.
100 Transcendental Studies: 53. A Capriccio by Kaikhosru Sorabji
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1940-1944 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden 
Length: 2 Minutes 7 Secs. 
11.
100 Transcendental Studies: 54. (untitled) by Kaikhosru Sorabji
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1940-1944 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden 
Length: 4 Minutes 24 Secs. 
12.
100 Transcendental Studies: 55. (untitled) by Kaikhosru Sorabji
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1940-1944 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden 
Length: 2 Minutes 48 Secs. 
13.
100 Transcendental Studies: 56. Moderato by Kaikhosru Sorabji
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1940-1944 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 
14.
100 Transcendental Studies: 57. (untitled) by Kaikhosru Sorabji
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1940-1944 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
15.
100 Transcendental Studies: 58. (untitled) by Kaikhosru Sorabji
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1940-1944 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden 
Length: 3 Minutes 41 Secs. 
16.
100 Transcendental Studies: 59 Quasi fantasia by Kaikhosru Sorabji
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1940-1944 
Date of Recording: 07/2006 
Venue:  Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden 
Length: 10 Minutes 56 Secs. 
17.
100 Transcendental Studies: 60. (untitled) by Kaikhosru Sorabji
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1940-1944 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
18.
100 Transcendental Studies: 61. (untitled) by Kaikhosru Sorabji
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1940-1944 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
19.
100 Transcendental Studies: 62. (untitled) by Kaikhosru Sorabji
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1940-1944 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 

Sound Samples

100 Transcendental Studies: No. 44. Ben cantato. Dolce chiaro
100 Transcendental Studies: No. 45. -
100 Transcendental Studies: No. 46. -
100 Transcendental Studies: No. 47. Leggiero e a capriccio
100 Transcendental Studies: No. 48. Volante
100 Transcendental Studies: No. 49. Vivace ma non troppo
100 Transcendental Studies: No. 50. Per il pedale 3
100 Transcendental Studies: No. 51. -
100 Transcendental Studies: No. 52. -
100 Transcendental Studies: No. 53. A capriccio
100 Transcendental Studies: No. 54. -
100 Transcendental Studies: No. 55. -
100 Transcendental Studies: No. 56. Moderato
100 Transcendental Studies: No. 57. -
100 Transcendental Studies: No. 58. -
100 Transcendental Studies: No. 59. Quasi fantasia
100 Transcendental Studies: No. 60. -
100 Transcendental Studies: No. 61. -
100 Transcendental Studies: No. 62. -

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