LIVE AT WIGMORE HALL
Bach-Kempff, Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin, Severac, Carl Maria Von Weber
JOHN ROBILETTE, piano
"John Robilette begins his unusual, somewhat old-fashioned programme with two Bach transcriptions by Kempff (with a reminder in his informative booklet notes that Bach transcribed his and other composers' music long before 'transcriptions' became a dirty word). Instantly noticeable from Robilette's playing of Kempff's transcription of Bach's Siciliano is the sheer beauty and quality of tone he produces from his instrument. Throught his one hour long programme there isn't a hard or ugly sound and in the busy right hand of Kempff's arrangement of the Chorale Prelude, 'It is surely the time', Robilette's finger-work never degenerates into the 'typewriter' or 'rapid machine-gun fire' style of playing we often hear in Bach's rapid semiquaver passages; rather he uses a more mellow 'footsteps sinking into the snow' technique. In Beethoven's Sonata Op.109, Robilette's cantabile and pianissimo playing is especially notable in the sublime melody that opens the final movement. It is hard to imagine de Severac as a contemporary of Debussy and Ravel with his light-weight Pipperment-Get Valse, but Robilette dispatches it with charm and elegance as he also does Weber’s more virtuosic Invitation to the dance – the audience bursting into enthusiastic applause before the surprise quiet ending. Robilette’s way with Chopin reflects an earlier age too. He captures the grandeur of Chopin’s not-so-often played Polonaise in C minor, with some interseting voicings in the reflective middle section. In the Valse de l’A’dieu, Op.69 No.1, the Trois Nouvelles Etudes, and the middle section of the Fantasie-Impromptu, he highlights hidden themes within left hand harmonies, while in the Etude, Op.10, No.9 he uses imaginative rubato to convey the mood of restless agitation… This is a very enjoyable disc; audience applause is kept to a minimum and there is a natural concert-hall perspective to the sound."
A. T. Albeson, International Piano Quarterly
PROGRAM NOTESJohn Robilette's piano interpretations are distinctive, bold, and imaginative with beautiful tone throughout. The Washington Post summed up his art by writing that "Robilette is a first-class artist who seems able to intuit effortlessly the composers intent." LIVE is Mr. Robilette's fourth commercial CD recording.The other three (piano concerti with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Russian State Symphony, and the New Philharmonic of Sophia, as well as solo works) have been acclaimed in newspapers and major record review periodicals throughout the country.
Carl Maria von Weber
Ludwig van Beethoven