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Piano works by Rachmaninov, Haydn & Ravel / Alain Lefevre, piano

Album Summary

>Rachmaninov, Sergey : Sonata for Piano no 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36
>Haydn, Franz Joseph : Sonata for Keyboard no 38 in F major, H 16 no 23
>Ravel, Maurice : La valse
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Rachmaninoff wrote the Sonata in B-flat minor, op. 36 in 1913, at the age of 40. Robert Schumann, speaking of Chopin's op. 35 Funeral March sonata, said that he "simply bound together four of his most unruly children" and called it a sonata. In much the same vein, Rachmaninoff's sonata is a sort of hurricane in three movements, held together by two very similar transitions that display all the hallmarks of rhapsodic improvisation.

It opens with a spectacular avalanche that spills down the keyboard like a flash of lightning, drawing the listener into a maelstrom where even the lyrical second theme cannot prevent a fall into the abyss, leaving in its wake a devastation that sets the stage for the second movement.

The unbridled energy of the first movement returns in the third, with Rachmaninoff renewing the combat where he left off. After a yet another wave of savage clashes in which violence and tenderness alternate, the coda, in a first for Rachmaninoff, does not lead toward the light, and the sonata ends in a draw. Simultaneously one of the composer's darkest and most exciting works, the sonata is both exhausting and exhilarating. Alain Lefevre is acclaimed as a "hero" (Los Angeles Times), a "spectacular pianist" (Fanfare), and a "smashing performer" (Washington Post). The Montreal pianist and composer pursues a sparkling international career. He has performed in more than forty countries and tours repeatedly world-wide, performing to prestigious venues, in recital and with international orchestras. He has been guest soloist of numerous orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall, the London Mozart Players, the China Philharmonic Orchestra and many others.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Église St-Benoît-de-Mirabel, Québec, Canada (07/2014).



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Works Details

>Rachmaninov, Sergey : Sonata for Piano no 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36
  • Performer: Lefèvre (Piano)
  • Running Time: 21 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1913

>Haydn, Franz Joseph : Sonata for Keyboard no 38 in F major, H 16 no 23
  • Performer: Lefèvre (Piano)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1773

>Ravel, Maurice : La valse
  • Performer: Lefèvre (Piano)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1919-1920