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Tag: Pierre-Laurent Aimard

“Late Night” concert with Pierre-Laurent Aimard 2012 1080p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

Charles Ives’s Concord Sonata is probably the most monumental conceptual design of a piano sonata of the 20th century. The work’s world premiere by renowned pianist John Kirkpatrick in 1939 helped the composer, who until then was to a large extent unknown, achieve his breakthrough. As Ives explains in his extensive commentary Essay Before a Sonata, the spiritual world of the work, which lasts about 50 minutes in performance, is situated in the context of American transcendentalism, which experienced its heyday in the small New England town of Concord, Massachusetts between 1840 and 1860.

Four movements are dedicated to four outstanding figures of the antimaterialist and antirationalist movement. Time and again the main theme from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is quoted – music of the composer who more than anyone else stands for the large-scale musical project of the sonata. The second movement, a scherzo that not infrequently touches on the limits of what can be performed, reflects on utopian short stories by the writer Nathaniel Hawthorne – with sudden breaks like cuts in a film and motor rhythms with a ragtime inflection.

The last movement is dedicated to the nature mystic Henry David Thoreau, who himself played flute and, according to Ives, was a “great musician”. With its many-layered piano writing, often notated on three staves, the Concord Sonata achieves a complexity that confronts any interpreter with the greatest of challenges. Beyond a doubt: Pierre-Laurent Aimard masters it brilliantly.

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Berliner Philharmoniker – Pierre Boulez and Pierre-Laurent Aimard perform works by Ravel, Bartok and Boulez 2009 720p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

There are a number of 20th-century works that owe their existence to a war injury: the Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein, the older brother of the philosopher Ludwig, lost his right arm in World War I. With the intention of continuing his musical career he commissioned leading composers of that day to write works for the left hand. In addition to such artists as Paul Hindemith, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Benjamin Britten and Sergei Prokofiev, Maurice Ravel also complied with the wishes of the industrialist’s son. His Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, premiered in 1929, is unquestionably the most important of the compositions written for Wittgenstein. In a concert of the Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Pierre Boulez, soloist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who is acclaimed not least for his interpretations of contemporary music, gave a brilliant performance.

The programme reflected a chronological and stylistic focus typical of Boulez: Béla Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, which is characterized by rhythmic elan, conceptual refinement and unusual instrumentation, was composed only six years after Ravel’s Concerto. The origins of Boulez’s own Notations also date back to the same period of music history, namely 1945, when he composed the first version for piano. Boulez was not only fascinated by developments in music history but also strived for ongoing growth in his own works. The last of the five pieces, arranged for large orchestra and substantially expanded in structure and length, did not appear until 1997, 52 years after the original version.

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Pierre-Laurent Aimard – Messiaen: Catalogue d’oiseaux, I-42 (2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Pierre-Laurent Aimard – Messiaen: Catalogue d’oiseaux, I-42 (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:08:21 minutes | 2,21 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Pierre-Laurent AimaJEMP Recordsrd – Messiaen

Renowned French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard kicks off his exclusive engagement to PENTATONE with a recording of Olivier Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux (1956-1958). The pianist had intimate ties to the composer himself and his wife, Yvonne Loriod, for whom Messiaen wrote the Catalogue. Praised by The Guardian as “one of the best Messiaen interpreters around,“ this is Aimard’s first recording of Messiaen’s most extensive, demanding and colourful piano composition.

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Berliner Philharmoniker – An American evening with Ingo Metzmacher and Pierre-Laurent Aimard 2012 1080p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

Ever since the middle of last century, the United States has had the reputation as the country of unlimited possibilities, also in terms of music. Whether jazz, rock, pop or classical music, it is impossible to imagine the musical world map without America – but this was not always the case. It took a long time before the former New World produced its own musical traditions with international appeal.

One of the pioneers of American music was Charles Ives, born in 1874. However, his music did not set trends despite what even today is seen as its striking modernity – it is too complex, and even the compositional and aesthetic bases of his music are sometimes contradictory. His Fourth Symphony, composed between 1909 and 1916 and only given its premiere more than a decade after Ives’ death, is one of the most enigmatic works by this long-underrated composer.

George Antheil also made a significant contribution to an original American musical style. Initially making a name for himself as a controversial pianist who enjoyed provoking his audiences, he later focused on composing. His interest in all things technical and his fondness for ragtime and jazz are also reflected in his works, including the orchestral piece in this concert, A Jazz Symphony.

For many lovers of classical music, George Gershwin is regarded as the American musician par excellence. As Ives already did before him, he worked diverse influences into his music. In his 1932 Cuban Overture, Gershwin took his inspiration from the rousing rhythms of the Caribbean. Whether this gorgeous piece is popular or serious music is no longer debated. As Leonard Bernstein said, who is represented in this Berliner Philharmoniker concert by the Symphonic Dances from his ever-popular West Side Story: There is only good or bad music…

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