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Exiles' Café - works by Bartok, Bowles, Sahl, Milhaud, Rachmaninov, Chopin, Fairouz / Lara Downes, piano

> 3 Hungarian Folksongs from the Csik District, BB 45b - No. 1. Rubato
> 3 Hungarian Folksongs from the Csik District, BB 45b - No. 2. L'istesso tempo
> 3 Hungarian Folksongs from the Csik District, BB 45b - No. 3. Poco vivo
> Mazurka No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 6, No. 1 - Mazurka No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 6, No. 1
> 3 Pieces, Op. 59 - 3 Pieces, Op. 59: No. 3. Sonatina pastorale
> Dumka No. 2, H. 250 - Dumka No. 2, H. 250
> Dumka, H. 285bis - Dumka, H. 285bis
> Tango - Tango
> Prelude in D minor - Prelude in D minor
> Lost in the Stars (arr. J. Distler for piano) - Lost in the Stars, Act I: Lost In The Stars (arr. J. Distler for piano)
> Piano Sonata No. 2 in E major, Op. 2 - Piano Sonata No. 2 in E major, Op. 2: I. Moderato
> Africa (arr. for piano) - Africa: II. Land of Romance (arr. for piano)
> 6 Preludes - No. 1
> 6 Preludes - No. 2
> 6 Preludes - No. 3
> 6 Preludes - No. 6
> Tango from Exiles' Cafe - Tango from Exiles' Cafe
> 3 Rag Caprices, Op. 78 (version for piano solo) - 3 Rag Caprices, Op. 78: No. 2. Romance (version for piano solo)
> Fragments - Fragments
> Mazurka No. 49 in F minor, Op. 68, No. 4 - Mazurka No. 49 in F minor, Op. 68, No. 4
> Piano Miniature No. 6, "Addio" - Piano Miniature No. 6, "Addio"

Album Summary

>Bartók, Béla : Hungarian folksongs (3) from the Csik district, Sz 35a
>Chopin, Frédéric : Mazurka for piano no 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 6/1, CT. 51
>Prokofiev, Sergei : Pieces, Op. 59
>Martinu, Bohuslav : Dumka for piano no 2, H. 250
>Martinu, Bohuslav : Dumka for piano no 3, H. 285bis
>Stravinsky, Igor : Tango
>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Andante semplice [fragment]
>Weill, Kurt : Lost in the Stars, song for voice & piano (from Lost in the Stars)
>Korngold, Erich Wolfgang : Sonata no 2 in E major, Op. 2
>Still, William Grant : Africa
>Bowles, Paul : Preludes for Piano
>Sahl, Michael : Tango from Exiles' Cafe, for solo piano
>Milhaud, Darius : Rag Caprice no 2
>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Work(s)
>Chopin, Frédéric : Mazurka for piano no 49 in F minor, Op. 68/4, CT. 99
>Fairouz, Mohammed : Piano Miniature no 6
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

This music comes from the Exiles' Café, a place both real and metaphorical where the travelers of the world gather to find a home away from home, a place where journeys converge and histories collide. The miniatures collected here tell stories of the transformative passage from what is left behind to what is discovered ahead. Exiles' Café is Lara Downes' debut recording for the Steinway & Sons label. Her 2011 release, 13 Ways of Looking at the Goldberg, received wide critical acclaim including top critics' picks for 2011 and coverage on NPR and APM's Performance Today. She currently serves as artist-in-residence at UC Davis's Mondavi Center.

American Record Guide, July/August 2013
This is a concept album of music. 'Land of Romance' from William Grant Still's Africa is a standout, and Ms Downes's fluid rendition of a movement from Korngold whets my appetite to hear her play the entire sonata. Informative notes by Ms Downes and piano reproduction worthy of the Steinway name complete a package that has its charms.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia (09/12/2012-09/14/2012).



Reviews

Wonderful collection of short pieces for those familiar with needing a home away from home…
This CD consists of a series of short piano pieces written by composers that left their homeland, and no doubt felt the pain of not being able to go “home”. The concept is that of a café, where such individuals might gather to feel together in their isolation. As such, the pieces tend to have a certain wistfulness and character that is both pleasing and somehow comforting.

A number of the works on this disc were particularly striking. The first three by Bela Bartok are short Hungarian Folksongs, and they are just delightful. Music of Chopin is, of course, featured given the theme of this recording, and Ms. Downes shows that her Chopin is sensitive and that her skills are up to the task of bringing these works to life. The Mazurka in F-sharp minor, Op. 6, No. 1, is very satisfying. Also very interesting is Prokofiev’s Sonatina Pastorale (Op. 59, No. 3). Stravinsky’s Tango in D minor was a very pleasing musical discovery for me, and Weill’s “Lost in the Stars” is a lovely jazz-feeling work that anyone who has ever sat in a bar while on travel wishing they were home can relate to. And the Korngold Moderato from Sonata No. 2, Op. 2 is amazing. Other works on the disc are from Rachmaninov, Bowles, and Sahl, who’s “Tango from the Exiles’ Café” was the basis for the idea behind this collection.

I was unfamiliar with Ms. Downes prior to acquiring this recording, and I will definitely have to keep an eye out for other works. I enjoyed this very much, and definitely recommend it for those looking for sensitive, introspective feeling works. Strongly recommended.


Submitted on 04/10/13 by KlingonOpera 
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Works Details

>Béla Bartók (Composer) (1881 - 1945) : Hungarian folksongs (3) from the Csik district, Sz 35a
  • Performer: Lara Downes (Piano)
  • Notes: Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia (09/12/2012-09/14/2012)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1907

>Frédéric Chopin (1810 - 1849) : Mazurka for piano no 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 6/1, CT. 51
  • Performer: Lara Downes (Piano)
  • Notes: Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia (09/12/2012-09/14/2012)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1830-1832

>Prokofiev, Sergei : Pieces, Op. 59 :: Pastoral Sonatina in C major
  • Performer: Lara Downes (Piano)
  • Notes: Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia (09/12/2012-09/14/2012)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1933-1934

>Martinu, Bohuslav : Dumka for piano no 2, H. 250
  • Performer: Lara Downes (Piano)
  • Notes: Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia (09/12/2012-09/14/2012)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1936

>Martinu, Bohuslav : Dumka for piano no 3, H. 285bis
  • Performer: Lara Downes (Piano)
  • Notes: Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia (09/12/2012-09/14/2012)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 09/21/1941

>Stravinsky, Igor : Tango
  • Performer: Lara Downes (Piano)
  • Notes: Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia (09/12/2012-09/14/2012)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1940

>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Andante semplice [fragment] :: Prelude in D minor, Op. posth.
  • Performer: Lara Downes (Piano)
  • Notes: Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia (09/12/2012-09/14/2012)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1917

>Weill, Kurt : Lost in the Stars, song for voice & piano (from Lost in the Stars)
  • Performer: Lara Downes (Piano)
  • Notes: Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia (09/12/2012-09/14/2012)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 02/1949-09/1949

>Korngold, Erich Wolfgang : Sonata no 2 in E major, Op. 2 :: 1. Moderato
  • Performer: Lara Downes (Piano)
  • Notes: Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia (09/12/2012-09/14/2012)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1910

>Still, William Grant : Africa :: 2. Land of Romance
  • Performer: Lara Downes (Piano)
  • Notes: Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia (09/12/2012-09/14/2012)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1924-1935

>Bowles, Paul : Preludes for Piano :: no 1
  • Performer: Lara Downes (Piano)
  • Notes: Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia (09/12/2012-09/14/2012)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1934-1945

>Bowles, Paul : Preludes for Piano :: no 2
  • Performer: Lara Downes (Piano)
  • Notes: Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia (09/12/2012-09/14/2012)
  • Running Time: 1 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1934-1945

>Bowles, Paul : Preludes for Piano :: no 3
  • Performer: Lara Downes (Piano)
  • Notes: Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia (09/12/2012-09/14/2012)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1934-1945

>Bowles, Paul : Preludes for Piano :: no 6
  • Performer: Lara Downes (Piano)
  • Notes: Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia (09/12/2012-09/14/2012)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1934-1945

>Sahl, Michael : Tango from Exiles' Cafe, for solo piano
  • Performer: Lara Downes (Piano)
  • Notes: Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia (09/12/2012-09/14/2012)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1984

>Milhaud, Darius : Rag Caprice no 2 :: Romance
  • Performer: Lara Downes (Piano)
  • Notes: Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia (09/12/2012-09/14/2012)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1922

>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Work(s) :: Fragments, Op. posth.
  • Performer: Lara Downes (Piano)
  • Notes: Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia (09/12/2012-09/14/2012)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Frédéric Chopin (1810 - 1849) : Mazurka for piano no 49 in F minor, Op. 68/4, CT. 99
  • Performer: Lara Downes (Piano)
  • Notes: Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia (09/12/2012-09/14/2012)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: circa 1846

>Fairouz, Mohammed : Piano Miniature no 6 :: Addio
  • Performer: Lara Downes (Piano)
  • Notes: Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia (09/12/2012-09/14/2012)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary