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GYRES Contemporary piano music

The celebrated Italian pianist Alessandro Vena takes a new departure with this recording of twentieth-century classics alongside new music for piano. Sibelius’s limpid ‘Valse Triste’, Schoenberg’s epigrammatic Op.19 pieces, and a selection of pieces by Shostakovich, trace some of the important twentieth-century literature. Vena then brings us forward to the twenty-first century with a fascinating collection of pieces by living European composers, beginning with ‘Approximately 5 Preludes’ by the Italian composer Giuseppe Lupis, each one inspired by the styles of different composers – Debussy, Bach, Chopin, and Lupis himself. The Norwegian composer Marcus Paus offers us ‘Four Momento Mori’, a set of postludes after an exhibition by the Swedish painter Christopher Rådlund. The second Italian composer represented on the disc is Davide Zannoni, whose ‘Flexible Desires’ presents some dramatic highly-charged contrasts between tonality and atonality. The final contemporary work is ‘Nocturne’ by the British composer Peter Fribbins, exploring something of the rich sound world of older nineteenth-century piano repertoire through the lens of our time.

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