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Matthieu Idmtal – Grieg: Piano Sonata, 14 Lyric Pieces (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88,2kHz]

Matthieu Idmtal – Grieg: Piano Sonata, 14 Lyric Pieces (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/88,2kHz | Time – 01:18:21 minutes | 1,08 GB | Genre: Piano Classics
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Edvard Grieg

Having completed his studies at the Brussels Conservatoire and won first prizes at several distinguished competitions for young musicians, Matthieu Idmtal quickly became known as a specialist in the music of Alexander Scriabin. His debut on record was dedicated to a sequence of the Russian composer’s Etudes and Preludes, and it won him golden reviews: “I have listened to Sofronitsky, Gilels, Richter and Ashkenazy – great Scriabin players all. Young Matthieu Idmtal has the potential to join that lofty group”. (American Record Guide)

His Scriabin recital was followed by an equally well-received album of the Violin Sonatas by Edvard Grieg, in company with his regular violin-recital partner Maya Levy. The natural sequel is this focus on the Norwegian composer’s solo output. Grieg composed seven books of Lyric Pieces across the course of his career: songs without words that amount to a diary of his compositional evolution as well as testament to enduring preoccupations such as the artistic transformation of folksong and the evocation of natural phenomena such as sunlight and the movement of water. Idmtal’s sequence ranges across all seven books, and does not shy away from established classics such as the Arietta and Wedding Day at Troldhaugen. However, he also includes several lesser-known and introspective masterpieces such as the Vanished Days and Homesickness from the Opus 57 set.

Even by their side, however, the Piano Sonata, Op. 7 is an almost forgotten masterpiece. Grieg wrote it at the age of 22, recently graduated from the conservatoire in Leipzig, yet even within the first movement’s opening exposition there are shapes and harmonies that instantly identify the composer’s artistic fingerprint. This Sonata reflects the ambitions and character of the young Grieg: high-spirited, virtuosic, impetuous, and permeated with brusque mood swings. Cast in a compressed version of the traditional four-movement form, it encompasses many changes of mood, sometimes very abrupt, as if the composer was overflowing with musical ideas and inspiration. It makes an ideal introduction to the familiar world of the Lyric Pieces as well as a notable debut for Matthieu Idmtal on Piano Classics.

1. Piano Sonata in E Minor, Op. 7: I. Allegro moderato (05:32)
2. Piano Sonata in E Minor, Op. 7: II. Andante molto (05:18)
3. Piano Sonata in E Minor, Op. 7: III. Alla menuetto, ma poco più lento (03:32)
4. Piano Sonata in E Minor, Op. 7: IV. Finale – Molto allegro (06:54)
5. Arietta, Op. 12 No. 1 (01:46)
6. Berceuse, Op. 38 No. 1 (03:19)
7. Butterfly, Op. 43 No. 1 (01:59)
8. Elegy, Op. 47 No. 7 (04:32)
9. Valse-Impromptu, Op. 47 No. 1 (03:28)
10. Melody, Op. 47 No. 3 (04:10)
11. March of the Dwarfs, Op. 54 No. 3 (03:42)
12. Elegy, Op. 38 No. 6 (03:53)
13. Waltz, Op. 38 No. 7 (01:26)
14. Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, Op. 65 No. 6 (06:14)
15. Homesickness, Op. 57 No. 6 (05:44)
16. Vanished Days, Op. 57 No. 1 (08:03)
17. Solitary Traveller, Op. 43 No. 2 (02:49)
18. Nocturne, Op. 54 No. 4 (06:00)


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