Debussy - Starry Night
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Label: Sono Luminus
Cat No: DSL92190
Format: Blu-ray Audio + CD
Number of Discs: 2
Release Date: 31st July 2015
Les soirs illumines par l'ardeur du charbon
Preludes (12), Book 1
ArtistsMichael Lewin (piano)
'Starry Night' is Michael Lewin’s fourth studio recording for Sono Luminus, providing the companion disc to his critically-praised Beau Soir (DSL92175), containing the Debussy Préludes Book II and other works.
'Starry Night' opens with worldly 'Estampes' (Prints) (1903), which contains three movements: Pagodes (Pagodas), La soirée dans Grenade (Evening in Granada), and Jardins sous la pluie (Gardens in the Rain). It follows with the delightfully impressionistic 'Arabesque No.1 in E Major' (1888), 'Golliwog’s cake walk' (1908), 'Les soirs illuminés par lardeur du charbon' (Evenings lit by the burning coals) (1917) and, of course, 'Nuit d’etoiles' (Starry Night) (1880).
'Nuit d’etoiles' for voice and piano was written by Debussy when he was 18, using a setting of a poem by Banvile. Koji Attwood made a stunning transcription for solo piano, making its debut recording on this album. The album finishes with Debussy’s iconic '12 Préludes, Book I' written in 1910. Lewin adds a refreshing grace to these traditionally revered pieces.
A Julliard School graduate and a Steinway Artist, Michael Lewin was a student of Leon Fleisher. Debussy is one of his favourite composers - he studied the piano music with the legendary French pianist Yvonne Lefébure, who had played it for the composer. They worked together in Debussy’s hometown of St Germain en Laye, in the same Conservatoire where he had studied as a boy, during the last summers of her life.
With an active repertoire of 40 piano concertos, Lewin has appeared as soloist with many different orchestras and esteemed conductors from around the world. He has premiered two Concertos by David Kocsis and performed Gershwin’s 'Rhapsody in Blue' over 50 times. Lewin’s Career was launched with top prizes in the International Liszt Piano Competition, the William Kapell International Competition and the American Pianists Association Award. Following his New York recital debut in Lincoln Center, the New York Times wrote that “his immense technique and ability qualify him eminently for success”.
Since then he has played solo recitals widely, as well as with orchestras and as a chamber musician. His discography reflects his interest in and command of a notably wide-ranging repertoire, and he was the featured artist in the 2014 album 'Winds of Samsara', which won the 2014 Grammy Award in the 'New Age' Category.
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