Grieg / Idmtal - Piano Sonata | RECORD STORE DAY

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Piano Sonata
Artist: Grieg / Idmtal
Format: CD


Label: Piano Classics
Rel. Date: 11/19/2021
UPC: 5029365102391

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Having completed his studies at the Brussels conservatoire and won first prizes at several distinguished competitions for young musicians, Matthieu Idmtal quickly became known as a specialist in the music of Alexander Scriabin. His debut on record was dedicated to a sequence of the Russian composer's Etudes and Preludes, and it won him golden reviews. His Scriabin album was followed by an equally well-received album of the violin sonatas by Edvard Grieg, in company with his regular violin-recital partner Maya Levy. The natural sequel is this focus on the Norwegian composer's solo output. Grieg composed seven books of Lyric Pieces across the course of his career: songs without words that amount to a diary of his compositional evolution as well as testament to enduring preoccupations such as the artistic transformation of folksong and the evocation of natural phenomena such as sunlight and the movement of water. Idmtal's sequence ranges across all seven books, and does not shy away from established classics such as the Arietta and Wedding Day at Troldhaugen. However, he also includes several lesser-known and introspective masterpieces such as the Vanished Days and Homesickness from the Opus 57 set. Even by their side, however, the Piano Sonata Op 7 is an almost forgotten masterpiece. Grieg wrote it at the age of 22, recently graduated from the conservatoire in Leipzig, yet even within the first movement's opening exposition there are shapes and harmonies that instantly identify the composer's artistic fingerprint. The sonata reflects the ambitions and character of the young Grieg: high-spirited, virtuosic, impetuous, and permeated with brusque mood swings. Cast in a compressed version of the traditional four-movement form, it encompasses many changes of mood, sometimes very abrupt, as if the composer was overflowing with musical ideas and inspiration.