Bersa - Complete Piano Music Vol.1 | Grand Piano GP767

Bersa - Complete Piano Music Vol.1


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Label: Grand Piano

Cat No: GP767

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 12th January 2018

Gramophone Editor's Choice



Blagoje Bersa (1873-1934) was a major figure in Croatian musical life, his compositions a compound of Mediterranean, Central European and Balkan elements. His piano music, of which this recording is Volume 1, reveals a rich diversity drawn from Classical and Romantic models, encompassing charming Chopinesque barcarolles, a melancholic Notturno, a stirring Liszt-inspired Fantaisie-Impromptu, beautiful balletic miniatures and the Brahmsian grandeur of the powerfully conceived Sonata in F minor.

Goran Filipec, recent laureate of the Grand Prix du Disque of the Ferenc Liszt Society of Budapest for his album "Paganini Studies" (Naxos Records, 2016), is a musician who never fail to capture the hearts of music audiences and critics. Equally known for his interpretations of standard piano repertoire as for discoveries of forgotten musical gems, this sovereign pianist of fiery energy and profiled artistic personality cultivates a particular leaning towards the classical and romantic repertoire and works of pronounced virtuosity.


Until this disc arrived for review, my only exposure to the Croatian composer Blagoje Bersa (1873-1934) was through his exuberant, breathtakingly orchestrated tone poem Sunčana polja (ĎSunny Fieldsí). So where has his amazing piano music been hiding all these years? Itís colourful, unabashedly virtuoso and quite substantial.  ... If I havenít yet mentioned Goran Filipecís performances itís because he basically left me stunned and speechless from the first notes, and Iím still recovering! This pianist commands a transcendental technique and possesses an unflappable sonority that refuses to splinter, notwithstanding Bersaís thickest onslaughts. ... Grand Pianoís vibrant sound does both pianist and composer ample justice. I cannot recommend this release highly enough and, needless to say, I look forward to Vol 2.  Jed Distler
Gramophone March 2018

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