Rachmaninoff / Clarke / Li-Cohen - Dialogues | RECORD STORE DAY
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Dialogues by cellist Noemie Raymond and pianist Zhenni Li-Cohen present two monumental works composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Rebecca Clarke. The album centers around a pair of sonatas that the performers hold dear. It seeks to bridge two universes in conversations between two instruments, two musicians, and two composers. The performers write, "it is a dialogue between you and us." This album explores the duality of two titanic masterpieces, from the pen of a woman and a man, both virtuoso instrumentalists with strikingly distinct musical voices. Dialogues begins with Rachmaninoff's Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19, composed during his most prolific period alongside his famous Piano Concerto No. 2. Considered by some to be his most successful chamber work, Rachmaninoff dedicated the sonata to Anatoly Brandukov, his best man at his wedding and a celebrated Russian cellist who also premiered several of Tchaikovsky's works. Brandukov inspired Rachmaninoff to imbue the cello line with expressiveness and intensity. The album continues with Clarke's Viola Sonata (Version for Cello & Piano), composed in 1919. An internationally renowned violist, Clarke is often considered a proponent of "English Impressionism." Despite placing second in a prestigious composition competition, Clarke's works were not celebrated or performed as much as those of her male peers due to societal gender biases. It was not until the 1970s that Clarke emerged from obscurity, and this Sonata has since taken it's rightful place in the standard repertoire for viola. Noemie Raymond's diverse career has taken her from London's prestigious Royal Albert Hall to the Festival Internacional de Musica de Camara in Lima, the United States, Japan and beyond. She has collaborated with renowned virtuosos such as Midori, Pinchas Zukerman, Jan Lisiecki and Yekwon Sunwoo. 2024-2025 season marks Noemie's Carnegie Hall debut, and concerti appearances with the Skagit Symphony, the Orchestre symphonique de Sherbrooke and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. A prizewinner in national and international competitions, Noemie has forged her reputation by earning awards at the Edwin H. and Leigh W. Schadt String International Competition and the Prix d'Europe, among others. She is a graduate of the University of Montreal and the New England Conservatory, and holds a Doctorate in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music. Noemie plays the "Ex-Curtis" cello (1700) by Matteo Goffriller, generously provided to her by Canimex Inc. Of Drummondville, Quebec. Hailed as "... an artist of tremendous conviction, who fascinates even as she provokes... " by Gramophone Magazine and "a thrillingly good pianist" by The New Yorker, Zhenni has given solo recitals at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, New York's Lincoln Center, Philadelphia's Kimmel Performing Arts Center and the Berliner Philharmonie in Germany. Zhenni is looking forward to her next recording project with Marin Alsop in collaboration with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and has appeared as a soloist with orchestras such as the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and the Knoxville, Cedar Falls, Fairbanks, Bucks County, Dominican Republic, Johns Hopkins and Lower Merion Symphony Orchestras amongst others. She is currently the Associate Professor of Piano at University of Alberta and the co-artistic Director of Opus 71 Concerts, a multimedia concert series near New York's Lincoln Center. Zhenni Li-Cohen is a Steinway Artist. Get your CD copy of 'Dialogues' or listen to it on your favorite platform. 'Dialogues' is available on all major music services.