Encounter / Igor Levit

Album cover art for upc 194397865721
Label: SONY CLASSICAL
Catalog: 19439786572
Format: CD

IGOR LEVIT

Igor Levit’s double album “Encounter” seeks sounds that give inner strength and support for the soul. In works by Bach to Max Reger, based on poignant vocal compositions, the desire for encounters and human togetherness is given expression – at a time when isolation is the order of the day. The result is a very personal recital.The 33-year-old once again steps beyond the limits of pure piano repertoire: in the Busoni transcriptions of Bach’s chorale preludes and the late Brahms, which are rarely heard as complete cycles, Levit assumes the role of an organist who fills vast church spaces. In Johannes Brahms’s Vier ernste Gesänge, he lends instrumental eloquence to overcoming the torments of fearing death. On the other hand, the gentle shimmer produced from its very few notes makes Morton Feldman's extremely quiet work for piano, Palais de Mari (1986), the epitome of a sensuous, transcendental realm of possibilities.The repertoire presented by Levit here reflects the album’s title. The works create a community of experience for many individuals forced to maintain distance from one another. They establish contact with religious and inward spirituality. In addition, the inner connections between the composers and their respective aesthetics make “Encounter” a journey offering astonishing discoveries, even on ostensibly familiar terrain.“The restricted isolation in the weeks since mid-March 2020 was often difficult for me too. As an artist, however, I have never felt so free, so open in my life as on those days when I often only decided half an hour before the live stream what I would play in my house concerts,” reports Igor Levit. The complete absence of routine concert activity also had its positive sides: “Being able to make music without any compulsion and spontaneously choosing works in which all questions about love and death, loneliness and the possibility of real love for others are examined, has given my piano playing a level of freedom that I had never before experienced in this form.”Disc 1  1. 10 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27; No. 1, Komm, Gott Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist, BWV 667  2. 10 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27; No. 2, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645  3. 10 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27; No. 3, Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659  4. 10 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27; No. 4, Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gmein, BWV 734  5. 10 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27; No. 5, Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639  6. 10 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27; No. 6, Herr Gott, nun schleuß den Himmel auf, BWV 617  7. 10 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27; No. 7a, Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt, BWV 637  8. 10 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27; No. 7b, Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt. Fuga, BWV 705  9. 10 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27; No. 8, In dir ist Freude, BWV 61510. 10 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27; No. 9, Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, BWV 66511. 6 Chorale Preludes, BV B 50; Herzlich tut mich erfreuen, Op. 122/412. 6 Chorale Preludes, BV B 50; Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, Op. 122/513. 6 Chorale Preludes, BV B 50; Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, Op. 122/814. 6 Chorale Preludes, BV B 50; Herzlich tut mich verlangen, Op. 122/915. 6 Chorale Preludes, BV B 50; Herzlich tut mich verlangen, Op. 122/1016. 6 Chorale Preludes, BV B 50; O Welt, ich muss dich lassen, Op. 122/11Disc 2  1. Vier ernste Gesänge; Denn es gehet dem Menschen wie dem Vieh, Op. 121/1  2. Vier ernste Gesänge; Ich wandte mich und sahe an alle, Op. 121/2  3. Vier ernste Gesänge; O Tod, wie bitter bist du, Op. 121/3  4. Vier ernste Gesänge; Wenn ich mit Menschen- und mit Engelszungen redete, Op. 121/4  5. Nachtlied, Op. 138/3 (Transcription for Piano)  6. Palais de Mari