LISZT: ROMANTIC WORKS for PIANO and ORCHESTRARhapsodie Espagnole
JOSHUA PIERCE, piano
Moscow State Philharmonic Orchestra
Paul Freeman Conductor
"Liszt was a vastly prolific composer whose output for piano and orchestra went well beyond the two oft-performed concertos. Pianist Joshua Pierce joins forces with conductor Paul Freeman and the Moscow State Philharmonic orchestra in this selection of less-frequently performed works of that genre. Pierce flies through even the most difficult passages with apparent ease and clarity of sound. Pierce has proved through his extensive discography that he is a highly skilled pianist, possessing ample technique to deliver precise performances of everything from Bach through Cage. This recording of Liszt is no different."
All Music Guide - August 2008
"Joshua Pierce's stylish elan and genuine instinct for Lisztian bravura certainly serve him well in these scores...The Hunagrain Fantasy's unaccompanied piano passages convey both forward drive and rhetorical breathing room, while the Wanderer Fantasy's outer section dialogues are firm, decisive and, as the saying goes, 'full of beans'...Pierce's forthright virtuosity [in the Malediction]...Lisztians will appreciate the informative, well written booklet-notes."
Gramophone - August 2008
"Both of the previous reviews [of Pierce's Liszt Piano Concertos release] were favorable, and I can only echo the superlatives used before...Pierce delivers very exhilarating performances [of the Hungarian Fantasy and Rhapsodie]...The Russian orchestras' energy is quite in keeping with the kind of pianism Pierce displays. If you enjoyed the Liszt concertos, this makes a perfect companion."
American Record Guide - July / August 2008
"Pierce's own 'fabulous technical virtuosity' is on thrilling display..."
World Magazine - June 2008
Turok's Choice - June 2008
"Concert pianist Pierce has an immense repertory and has recorded widely for many different labels. Pierce is fully up to the virtuoso challenge [of these works] and delivers the full Romantic goods."
Audiophile Audition - March 2008
"... I'm a huge fan of pianist Joshua Pierce, and danged if he hasn't convinced me...that the Rhapsodie Espagnole is worth my time. As for Schubert's Wanderer Fantasy, no convincing was needed. Both Russian orchestras are excellent."
CD HotList for Libraries - March 2008
PROGRAM NOTESGrammy nominated pianist, Joshua Pierce, one of the most versatile virtuosi of our time, was born in New York City and studied at The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music and Columbia University; his principal teachers and mentors were Dorothy Taubman, Artur Balsam, Victor Babin, Arthur Loesser and Robert Goldsand. His extensive career includes performances in recital, as a soloist with chamber ensembles, including Russia's famed Leontovich String Quartet and Chamber Players International, Inc. He has been heard throughout the world in many of the most prestigious music centers and has performed as a soloist with an impressive array of major orchestras in the New World and the Old including the Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia of London, Luxembourg Radio Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Philharmonia Virtuosi of New York, Utah Symphony, Missouri Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Mexico City Philharmonic, Orchestra Philharmonic of Jalisco, Berlin Radio Symphony, RAI Orchestra of Rome, Czech Radio Orchestra, Czech National Symphony, Slovak Philharmonic, Slovak State Chamber Orchestra Zelina, Moscow State Philharmonic, Russian State Symphony and the State Symphony of Russia at Tchaikovsky Hall, Moscow, where he made a highly successful debut in 1993 performing Liszt's Piano Concerto No.1 in E-flat major. His huge range and varied repertoire are unique among contemporary pianists ranging from the prepared piano works of John Cage to the masterpieces of the standard repertoire to rediscovered concerted masterpieces of the high romantic era.
Mr. Pierce's many recordings on the Albany, Carlton Classics, Centaur, Fanfare, Helicon, Koch International, Mastersound, MNC, Phoenix, Premiere, Pro Arte, Sony Classics, Virgin Classics, Vox, Varese Sarabande, and Wergo labels, include familiar and lesser-known concerted works by Brahms, Casella, Chopin, Czerny, Gershwin, Hummel, Khachaturian, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Prokofiev, Reinecke, Rachmaninov, Respighi, Shostakovich, Richard Strauss, Tchaikovsky and Weber. Other composers performed and recorded by Mr. Pierce include Ives, Cowell, Harry Partch, Schoenberg, Stockhausen, Stravinsky, Toru Takemitsu and La Monte Young. It was the success of his recording of the Brahms B-flat Concerto with the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic under Kirk Trevor that led directly to live performances of the Franck and Liszt with the same forces and to the inclusion of all three works on this disc. Joshua Pierce's long identification with the music of Liszt includes recordings of the first three concertos, soon to be available on MSR.
Joshua Pierce has also performed extensively for public radio and television in the United States and for PRI in many parts of Europe. A long list of contemporary and traditional music performances includes the Cage Musicircus Memorial Concert at Symphony Space in New York, Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, AFMM Microfest Concerts, Barbican Centre/London, 4th ISCM Europe-Asia 2000 Music Festival, Festival "Music of Friends"/Russian Composers Union Music Series/Moscow, Alternativa Music Festival 2000/Moscow, Bergen International Music Festival/Norway, ISCM Festivals in Seattle and Zurich, Switzerland, the Futurismo & Futurismi Festival in Venice, Italy, festivals at Amherst and Trenton, Music Mountain Chamber Music Festival, international Piano Festival at Williams College/Williamstown, Massachusetts as well as appearances at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and Purchase, Washington and Lee University, University of Maryland and Bucknell University among others.
Mr. Pierce is a board member of the American Festival of Microtonal Music, and is the official pianist of the AFMM Ensemble. He has also served as a judge for several international music competitions and on the board of the International Fulbright Commission. On February 10, 2005, he premiered the 95-minute "Revelation" by Michael Harrison at Merkin Hall in New York and followed by the West-Coast Premiere in Los Angeles.
In addition to his solo career, Mr. Pierce and the pianist Dorothy Jonas make up the Pierce/Jonas Duo - one of the most imaginative and compelling duo-piano teams in the world today. The Duo has performed throughout the United States, Mexico, Europe and South America, appearing with major orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Radio-Television Orchestras of Poland and Luxembourg, Chicago Sinfonietta, Slovak Philharmonic, State Philharmonic of Kocise, Orchestra da Camera di Roma and the symphony orchestras of Houston, San Antonio, Utah, Mexico City and elsewhere. The Duo’s disc of Mendelssohn’s Two-Piano Concertos is believed to be the first complete and unabridged recordings of these works. The Duo has received over 15 Grammy Award nominations to date and they have introduced and recorded many important twentieth-century works by such composers as Benjamin, Berezowsky, Britten, Creston, Gould, Harris, Malipiero, Martinu, Piston, Rozsa, Tansman and others. Their recordings have ranged from John Cage's "Three Dances for Two Prepared Pianos"and Charles Ives' "Three Quarter-Tone Pieces for Two Pianos" to the complete two-piano works of Mozart; to Broadway music of Bernstein, Rodgers, Hamlisch, Hermann and Lloyd Webber.
MOZART: COMPLETE SONATAS FOR VIOLIN …
Special 6-CD Limited Edition SMITH-PIERCE …
BRITTEN, MILHAUD, FINZI & R. STRAUSS
Works for Piano and Orchestra JOSHUA PIERCE
Showpieces for Piano and Orchestra JOSHUA PIERCE
THE DEVIL'S TRILL
Music for Violin and Piano …
RUSSIAN PIANO CONCERTOS
JS BACH, HAYDN & MENDELSSOHN
Piano Concertos JOSHUA PIERCE
PERSICHETTI: LEGACY OF SONGS
Unpublished Songs on Poetical Texts SHERRY …
BACH, HINDEMITH & BLOCH
J.S.Bach: Keyboard Concerto BWV 1052; JOSHUA PIERCE
Song Cycle for Soprano and Piano, Op.50
Poems SHERRY OVERHOLT