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J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations; Beethoven: Diabelli Variations; Rzewski: The People United will Never be Defeated! / Igor Levit, piano

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Goldberg Variations, for keyboard (Clavier-Übung IV), BWV 988 (BC L9)
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Variations (33) for Piano on a Waltz by Diabelli in C major, Op. 120
>Rzewski, Frederic : The People United Will Never Be Defeated (El pueblo unido jamás será vencido), 36 Variations on a Ch
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

With the success of his first two albums, Igor Levit has emerged as one of the leading pianists of our time. Bach-Beethoven-Rzewski features three of the greatest sets of keyboard variations. Three-CD box set with a limited-edition slipcase. Levit will collaborate with performance artist Marina Abramovic for an avant-garde presentation of Bach's Goldberg Variations at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City in December. Tour dates throughout the U.S. in late 2015/early 2016.

Following his landmark recordings, Beethoven - The Late Piano Sonatas, and Bach Partitas, both of which won international acclaim, on his new album, Bach- Beethoven-Rzewski, virtuoso pianist Igor Levit is now tackling the three greatest sets of keyboard variations. The new album features Bach's Goldberg Variations and Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, long considered acid tests of the performer's art, along with Frederic Rzewski's The People United Will Never Be Defeated, based on the Chilean revolutionary song ˇEl pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!, that has the reputation of being nearly unplayable. Bach-Beethoven- Rzewski will be released as a three-CD box set with a limited-edition slipcase.

Levit and New York City-based performance artist, Marina Abramovic, will collaborate on an avant-garde presentation of Bach's Goldberg Variations at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City for eight dates in December 2015. The work will reflect on the music and provide an interactive landscape for audience and performer alike. This will be Abramovic's first foray into classical music. Levit will also have other tour dates throughout the U.S. in the fall of 2015 and winter of 2016.

The vaulting artistic ambitions of Russo-German pianist Igor Levit were already proclaimed by his first two albums. The response from the international media was as broad as it was universally ecstatic. Alex Ross of The New Yorker proclaimed, "After a few minutes, I was transfixed. He was playing with technical brilliance, tonal allure, intellectual drive and an elusive quality that the Germans indicate with the word Innigkeit, or inwardness." Today, after a few years on the international scene, this young artist has emerged as one of the leading pianists of our time, combining supreme interpretative earnestness with sparkling technique and extraordinary versatility.

London Telegraph
He plays with the maturity of a great artist and looks set to be one of this century's big names.

The Guardian, 14th October 2015
Few [recordings of the Rzewski] match Levit's combination of supreme, sometimes breathtaking accuracy and his sustained intensity. The same sense of freshness and discovery runs through his Diabelli Variations...one of the most impressive aspects of the performance as a whole is how Levit holds the different aspects of this massive work in balance.

Gramophone Magazine, November 2015
There is, if you care to rationalise, a Russian depth of sound and eloquence of phrasing, tempered by Germanic intellectual grasp...Levit's musical personality is as integrated and mature as his technique. And both of these are placed at the service of the music's glory rather than his own.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Funkhaus Nalepastrasse, Berlin (01/29/2015-02/01/2015); Funkhaus Nalepastrasse, Berlin (03/01/2015-03/04/2015); Funkhaus Nalepastrasse, Berlin (08/06/2015-08/09/2015).



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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Goldberg Variations, for keyboard (Clavier-Übung IV), BWV 988 (BC L9)
  • Performer: Igor Levit (Piano)
  • Notes: Funkhaus Nalepastrasse, Berlin (08/06/2015-08/09/2015)
  • Running Time: 71 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1741

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Variations (33) for Piano on a Waltz by Diabelli in C major, Op. 120
  • Performer: Igor Levit (Piano)
  • Notes: Funkhaus Nalepastrasse, Berlin (01/29/2015-02/01/2015)
  • Running Time: 45 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1819

>Rzewski, Frederic : The People United Will Never Be Defeated (El pueblo unido jamás será vencido), 36 Variations on a Ch
  • Performer: Igor Levit (Piano)
  • Notes: Funkhaus Nalepastrasse, Berlin (03/01/2015-03/04/2015)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1975