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Leon Fleisher Recital - Bach/Brahms, Scriabin, Saint-Saens


Release Date: 07/27/1993 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 48081   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Camille Saint-SaënsRobert SaxtonJohannes BrahmsAlexander Scriabin,   ... 
Performer:  Leon Fleisher
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Even before Paul Wittgenstein expanded the repertoire of piano music for the left hand alone, there was a wealth of existing compositions. Scriabin had written his Two Pieces, Op. 9 as a response to tendovaginitis in his own right hand, Saint-Saens's Six Etudes, Op. 135 were written for Caroline Montigny-Remaury whose right hand had been damaged in an accident, and Leopold Godowsky had written pieces for the left hand alone which extended keyboard technique to its limits in order to show off his own extraordinary abilities.

In Takacs's Toccata and Fugue, Fleisher's intelligent, detailed approach and finely controlled contrapuntal clarity are enhanced by the vivid recording. The crisp piano sound also suits SaintSaens's Op.
Read more 135 Etudes well—particularly in movements such as the moto perpetuo and bourrêe which recall the eighteenth-century solo suite. The longest work is Brahms's transcription of the chaconne from Bach's Second Solo Violin Partita. This is a compelling performance in which Brahms's broad conception and the musical logic of his model are beautifully revealed. Saxton's Chacony was dedicated to Fleischer who gave its first performance, and here he captures the work's evocative atmosphere and process of development. Fleisher is as accomplished in the poetic warmth and expressiveness of the Scriabin pieces as he is in the overtly decorative passagework of Blumenfeld's Etude and the conscious virtuosity of Godowsky's Symphonic Metamorphoses which bring flamboyance and sparkle to the recital.

Here is an enjoyable programme which provides an interesting and valuable sample of this specialized repertoire. However, the brightly-lit Sony recording is apt to make the piano sound glassy at times.

-- Nicholas Rast, Gramophone [10/1993]
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Works on This Recording

1. Etudes (6) for Piano left hand, Op. 135 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Leon Fleisher (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1912; France 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Venue:  Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory 
Length: 18 Minutes 8 Secs. 
2. Chacony for Piano left hand by Robert Saxton
Performer:  Leon Fleisher (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1988; England 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Venue:  Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory 
Length: 6 Minutes 44 Secs. 
3. Studies (5) for Piano, Anh. 1a/1: no 5, Chaconne by Bach by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Leon Fleisher (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Venue:  Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory 
Length: 16 Minutes 38 Secs. 
4. Pieces (2) for Piano left hand, Op. 9: no 1, Prélude in C sharp minor by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Leon Fleisher (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1894; Russia 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Venue:  Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory 
Length: 2 Minutes 51 Secs. 
5. Pieces (2) for Piano left hand, Op. 9: no 2, Nocturne in D major by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Leon Fleisher (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1894; Russia 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Venue:  Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory 
Length: 5 Minutes 56 Secs. 
6. Symphonic metamorphoses of themes from "Schatz-Walzer" by Leopold Godowsky
Performer:  Leon Fleisher (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Venue:  Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory 
Length: 12 Minutes 1 Secs. 
7. Etude for Piano left hand in A flat major, Op. 36 by Felix Blumenfeld
Performer:  Leon Fleisher (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; Russia 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Venue:  Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory 
Length: 3 Minutes 58 Secs. 
8. Toccata and Fugue for Piano left hand, Op. 56 by Jenöe Takács
Performer:  Leon Fleisher (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1950 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Venue:  Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory 
Length: 7 Minutes 14 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Toccata and Fugue, Op.56 for the Left Hand
I. Prelude
II. Alla fuga
III. Moto Perpetuo
IV. Bouree
V. Elegie
VI. Gigue
Chacony (1988) for the Left Hand
Chaconne (from Partita II in D minor for Solo Violin, BWV 1004)
Etude in A-flat Major, Op. 36 for the Left Hand
Prelude in C-sharp minor, Op. 9 No. 1 for the Left Hand
Nocturne in D-flat Major, Op. 9 No. 2 for the Left Hand
Symphonic Metamorphoses of the "Schatz-Walzer" (from "Der Zigeunerbaron" by J. Strauss)

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