Mozart - Don Giovanni (arr. Bizet for solo piano) | NIFC (National Institute Frederick Chopin) NIFCCD141-142

Mozart - Don Giovanni (arr. Bizet for solo piano)


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Label: NIFC (National Institute Frederick Chopin)

Cat No: NIFCCD141-142

Barcode: 5906395034918

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 2

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 17th February 2023



This new release from The Chopin Institute presents Mozart's Don Giovanni in Georges Bizet's transcription for piano, performed here by pianist Cyprien Katsaris.

In transcribing from solo voices and orchestra to just solo piano, Bizet provides us with the chance to focus all our attention exclusively on Mozart's musical art. An art that contains everything. In that distilled layer of what is by nature asemantic sound and sequences of sounds, Mozart's dramaturgical genius is seen as if through a lens.

At first, we are faced with the question as to what is the priority in opera: the dramatic action presented by the libretto or the musical narrative contained in the score? The answer seems banal. The success of the phenomenon of opera lies in the synthesis, and especially the synergy, created by the combination of elements giving rise to a unique amalgam of mutually complementary meanings.

So, if that is so obvious, then why debate the question and disintegrate the composer's conception?

Bizet's 'translational' idea is risky, to say the least; the de-staging of the stage work, which belongs to the stage by principle, idea and concept. And it would no doubt suffer defeat if it concerned anyone other than Mozart. For the most spectacular theatrical phenomenon in the realm of music, deprived of the theatre that is constitutive of its message as a whole, nevertheless - in spite of everything - triumphs. The perfect harmony of his music remains intact against even the most extravagant heuristic ideas.

We, the listeners, are faced with the need to confront the experience resulting from our knowledge of the libretto and its plot.

A French pianist and composer of Cypriot origins, Cyprien Katsaris was born in Marseilles in 1951. He is a graduate of the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied piano with Aline van Barentzen and Monique de la Bruchollerie. He won the UNESCO International Rostrum of Young Interpreters in Bratislava (1977) and the Cziffra International Competition in Versailles (1974) and is a laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Competition (1972). Katsaris performs with the Berlin Philharmonic, Moscow Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Cleveland and Amsterdam Concertgebouw and the Philharmonia Orchestra. He has worked with conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Neville Marriner, Simon Rattle and Mstislav Rostropovich. Katsaris has recorded for Teldec Sony Classical, EMI, Warner Classics, Deutsche Grammophon, BMG/ RCA, Decca and Pavane. He has also founded his own label, PIANO 21.


this piano solo is a work of art in its own right, resourceful, faithful to the socre and spirit of Mozart, and adept in its translation of orchestral effects to the keyboard. [Ö] His [Katsaris] limpid singing tone on Polish Radioís Bechstein is a joy.

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