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Inon Barnatan – Time Traveler’s Suite (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Inon Barnatan – Time Traveler’s Suite (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/96kHz | Time – 01:03:05 minutes | 1,04 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © PentaTone

On his third PENTATONE album Time Traveler’s Suite, pianist Inon Barnatan redefines our notions of the suite by taking us on a journey through time and space, from Baroque pieces by Bach, Handel, Rameau and Couperin to more recent works by Ravel, Barber, Adès and Ligeti. The program culminates in Brahms’s ingenious Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel.

Inon Barnatan is one of the most admired pianists of his generation (New York Times). His complete recordings of Beethoven’s piano concertos together with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Alan Gilbert were released on PENTATONE in 2019 and 2020.

Have you never had the opportunity to hear Inon Barnatan play? Then throw yourself into this stunning recital by the Israeli-American pianist released on Pentatone, which should really be viewed as more of a musical journey, with surprises, thrills, and heart-stopping moments of emotion. At the end of the programme we are treated to a complete performance of the Variations on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24 by Johannes Brahms. Inon Barnatan attempts to explore the influence of the masters of the first half of the eighteenth century on later musical creation, first of all looking at Brahms, who was a great admirer of his Baroque predecessors, to the point of actively contributing to Friedrich Chrysander’s edition of Couperin’s Pièces de clavecin. Maurice Ravel (with the Rigaudon from the Tombeau de Couperin) and Samuel Barber (with the Fuga from the Piano Sonata) as well as Ligeti (with two excerpts from the Musica Ricercata) are also addressed here, broadening out the perspective. Eras blend into one another; modernity is no longer defined as a single time period; aesthetics, whether contemporary or distant, are brought inexorably together. A striking and unexpected link is found, for example, between Ligeti’s Capriccioso and Barber’s Fugue, the first crowning achievement of an absolutely spellbinding recording. Similarly, the trinity of Rameau (Courante from the Suite in A minor) – Couperin (L’Atalante, from Order XII) – Ravel (Rigaudon) forms a great and clear arc!

In short, this truly is a journey, and certainly a great concert programme. The performer is clearly the most exciting element here, with his irresistible elegance and astonishing panache. Inon Barnatan’s playing enjoys a rare plenitude; both hands sound balanced, allowing him to translate the polyphonic games of the Baroque masters such as Barber or Ligeti. His way with the keyboard is striking; his sense of attack transfigures the beautiful Blanca Variations by Thomas Adès and allows him to create an authentic expression of the nostalgic phrase of the central part of Ravel’s Rigaudon. Here is a musician who can really master those subtle harmonic balances imagined by the composer! Barber’s Fuga also boasts its share of surprises, with ‘polyrhythmic’ motifs and mischievous harmonic tricks on the left hand such as perhaps no interpreter has ever been able to pull off, giving Barber a hint of the Ginastera here.

After nine tracks, all of which are exciting for different reasons, there comes the major work: Variations on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24 by Johannes Brahms. Barnatan proves fantastic here: in the diversity of his characters; in the fluidity of his interpretation; in the meticulous care he takes of all the voices of the polyphony; in the suppleness of his wrist, which is as powerful as it is vivacious and tender. The beauty of this performance (Var. 9) is astounding. This record confirms that Inon Barnatan is one of the most important pianists of his generation. – Pierre-Yves Lascar

01. Inon Barnatan – Toccata in E Minor, BWV 914
02. Inon Barnatan – II. Allemande
03. Inon Barnatan – II. Courante
04. Inon Barnatan – No. 8, L’Atalante
05. Inon Barnatan – IV. Rigaudon. Assez vif “Piere & Pascal Gaudin”
06. Inon Barnatan – Blanca Variations
07. Inon Barnatan – No. 11, Andante misurato e tranquillo “Girolamo Frescobaldi”
08. Inon Barnatan – No. 10, Vivace. Capriccioso
09. Inon Barnatan – IV. Fuga. Allegro con spirito
10. Inon Barnatan – Aria
11. Inon Barnatan – Var. 1, —
12. Inon Barnatan – Var. 2, Animato
13. Inon Barnatan – Var. 3, Dolce
14. Inon Barnatan – Var. 4, Risoluto
15. Inon Barnatan – Var. 5, Espressivo
16. Inon Barnatan – Var. 6, —
17. Inon Barnatan – Var. 7, Con vivacita
18. Inon Barnatan – Var. 8, —
19. Inon Barnatan – Var. 9, Poco sostenuto
20. Inon Barnatan – Var. 10, Energico
21. Inon Barnatan – Var. 11, Dolce
22. Inon Barnatan – Var. 12, Soave
23. Inon Barnatan – Var. 13, Largamente, ma non più
24. Inon Barnatan – Var. 14, Sciolto
25. Inon Barnatan – Var. 15, —
26. Inon Barnatan – Var. 16, Ma marcato
27. Inon Barnatan – Var. 17, Più mosso
28. Inon Barnatan – Var. 18, Grazioso
29. Inon Barnatan – Var. 19, Leggiero und vivace
30. Inon Barnatan – Var. 20, Legato
31. Inon Barnatan – Var. 21, Dolce
32. Inon Barnatan – Var. 22, —
33. Inon Barnatan – Var. 23, Vivace e staccato
34. Inon Barnatan – Var. 24, —
35. Inon Barnatan – Var. 25, —
36. Inon Barnatan – Fuga


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