Bortkiewicz: Complete Piano Music

Album cover art for upc 5029365101639
Label: PIANO CLASSICS
Catalog: PCL10163
Format: CD

Trapman, Klaas

A composer-pianist after his time, Sergei Bortkiewicz (1877-1952) continued to write music in the post-Romantic Russian tradition well into the 20th century: based on Liszt and Chopin, influenced by Tchaikovsky and Russian folklore, and insulated from Modernism. His craftsmanship was meticulous, his imagination colorful and sensitive, his piano writing as idiomatic as one would expect from a performer coached in the grand manner of 19th-century virtuosity. His voice is strongly established in even his early works: preludes, studies and ballades followed, as well as two grandiloquent sonatas. Many of Bortkiewicz’s manuscripts ended up in the possession of his good friend, the Dutch pianist Hugo van Dalen. In time the Dutch Musical Institute acquired them and engaged Klaas Trapman to make these recordings between 2002 and 2006. Reissued here complete, they are complemented by new and detailed booklet notes from the Bortkiewicz scholar Wouter Kalkman. For Trapman himself, this project was a labor of love: ‘Bortkiewicz has his own personal voice,’ he remarked in an interview. ‘It is the atmosphere of deep nostalgia, the longing for past joys. This emotional side, blended with his strong melodic gifts, makes his music attractive and appealing to many listeners.’

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