RACHMANINOFF: RHAPSODY ON A THEME OF PAGANINICasella and Respighi: Works for Piano & Orchestra
Alfredo Casella, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Ottorino Respighi
JOSHUA PIERCE, piano
R T V Slovenia Symphony Orchestra
New 2023 Digital Remastering
"An energetic revisiting of a standard of the repertoire, as well as an introduction to two splendid works that may not have been heard elsewhere... The Rachmaninov is easily the fastest rendition in memory. While some performers may falter with such ambitious tempi, Pierce thrives. Every note is clearly articulated even in the most bravura passages. Each variation flows naturally into the next and by the last three, Pierce has the listener at the edge of his/her seat wondering if he can keep the fireworks. The RTV Symphony ably keeps the momentum going... Respighi was a master of variety in color, mood, and evocation. The Toccata for Piano and Orchestra is no exception, making it puzzling why this piece is not heard more frequently. Pierce and the RTV deftly handle the many changes in mood from the grave beginning, to the scintillating and whimsical end sections, and the extended lugubrious, brilliantly executed cello solos... The outer movements of the Casella Partita for piano and orchestra are rambunctious and bombastic... A lesser pianist may quickly lose the listener's interest, but Pierce manages to pull it off."
All Music Guide [November 2006]
"Pierce's impressive Paganini is coupled with important large-scaled but rarely-heard works by Respighi and Casella... Marvelous piano playing and fine accompaniments."
Turok's Choice [October 2006]
PROGRAM NOTESThe award-winning pianist Joshua Pierce has distinguished himself as one of the leading performers of his generation as well as one of the most prolific recording artists in recent times, having recorded over 235 works on 65 CDs for labels such as MSR Classics, EMI Classics, Albany, VOX, Koch International, Naxos, JVC, Pro Arte, Mode, Virgin Classics, Sony Classical, BBC Recordings, Carlton Classics, Wergo, Varese Sarabande, PITCH, Solyd Recordings, and many others. His recordings include a wide-range of works from Bach, Chopin, Respighi, Respighi, Casella, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov to Bloch, Hindemith, Rachmaninoff, Strauss, Turok and Duke Ellingrton. This also includes the complete piano concertos of Beethoven, Brahms, Gershwin and Liszt. All of these recordings have received outstanding international recognition and awards. His collaboration with and performances and recordings of the music of the important 20th century American innovator - composer John Cage is historical and legendary. Apart from his recordings, Pierce maintains a very active career as a soloist and collaborative performer throughout the United States, South America, Europe, Eastern Europe and Russia with such orchestras as the Moscow State Philharmonic, State Symphony Orchestra of Russia, Philharmonia of London, Royal Philharmonic, Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, Czech National Symphony, Slovak Philharmonic, Slovak State Philharmonia, Slovak Radio Symphony, Slovak State Chamber Orchestra of Zilina, the Cappella Istropolitana of Bratislava, Luxembourg Philharmonic, Italian Radio Orchestra (RAI), Mexico City Philharmonic, Jalisco Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of Guadalajara and the Sinfonica Nacional of Peru. In the United States, he has appeared with the Utah Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Missouri Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta and the Philharmonia Virtuosi of New York, among others. He has also appeared at New York’s major concert venues including the 92nd St. Y, Symphony Space, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lefrak Auditorium, John Drew Theater / Guild Hall, East Hampton, The Kitchen, Roulette, Steinway Hall, The DiMenna Center For Classical Music, Merkin Hall, Alice Tully, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. He has also performed at the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, Amherst International Music Festival, International Piano Festival at Williams College, Seattle Festival of Contemporary Music, Music Mountain Chamber Music Festival and the Philips Collection in Washington D.C. His many International performances include performances at Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Barbican Centre, Royal Festival Hall, Bergen International Music Festival in Norway, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Los Veranos de la Villa Festival in Madrid, Rote Fabrique, ISCM Festivals in Zurich, Moscow, Kazan and Venice, ISCM Europe-Asia 2000, The Sigurjon Olaesson Museum in Reykjavik, Festival of Russian Composers’ Unon Music Series and the International Alternativa Festival in Moscow. He has performed as soloist and collaborator in all the major cities in South Korea. Highly regarded as a chamber music collaborator, he has performed with Russia’s Leontovich String Quartet, Pierce-Aomori clarinet and piano duo, Chamber Players International and with violinists Eric Friedman and Andrew Smith and with cellist Jeffrey Solow. In the United States, he has been heard on nationally syndicated radio programs including Morning Pro Musica (WGBH), WQXR’s First Hearing, John Schaefer’s New Sounds, NPR’s All Things Considered and David Dubal’s The American Century and Reflections From the Keyboard. Pierce continues to win critical praise for his versatility, power musical intelligence and deeply felt interpretations. He has had major awards and citations from such American and European publications as International Who’s Who, Downbeat, Billboard, Fanfare, Keyboard Magazine, Cashbox, Heavy Metal, the coveted German Music Critics Prize, Germany’s Fono Forum, France’s Diapason Award, Grand Prize of the IBLA International Competition for Contemporary Music and was a nominee for the 23rd International Franz Liszt Grand Prix du Disque of Hungary. He has received five PSC-CUNY Research Award Grants and is a Foundation Award winner from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music. He is a multiple Grammy Award Nominee and has served several years on the International Fulbright Committee. He is listed in Who’s Who in America and is the recipient of that publication’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Anton Nanüt (1932-2017) was the chief conductor of the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra in Ljubljana in which capacity he made more than 150 CDs. Nanüt was born in Slovenia and studied at the Ljubljana Music Academy. He was the conductor of the Dubrovnik City Orchestra and the Slovenian Philharmonic before taking over the RTV Symphony Orchestra in 1981. He toured extensively in the United States and Mexico as well as in many parts of Europe.
The RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra was founded as the principal orchestra of the national radio and television broadcasting system in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Its activities include extensive concert performances and recordings with many labels and with various major artists and conductors.
PROGRAMALFREDO CASELLA (1883-1947)
PARTITA FOR PIANO AND ORCHESTRA (1925)
OTTORINO RESPIGHI (1879-1936)
TOCCATA FOR PIANO AND ORCHESTRA (1928)
SERGEI RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943)
RHAPSODY ON A THEME OF PAGANINI, OP.43 (1931)
Special thanks to Regis Benoit for his generous support of this project.
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