Recent News
01.13.19
James Conlon
Dull Bruch from Zuk, blazing Bartók from Conlon and New World at Arsht
South Florida Classical Review
01.11.19
Sir Andrew Davis
With conductor Andrew Davis, the BSO considers the big picture
The Boston Globe
01.10.19
Louis Lortie
PIANIST LOUIS LORTIE JOINS THE ROSTER
01.10.19
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER CELEBRATES GROUNDBREAKING FOUNDER DURING 60TH ANNIVERSARY NORTH AMERICAN TOUR FEBRUARY 1 – MAY 12, 2019
Ailey PressRoom
01.07.19
Teddy Abrams, Inon Barnatan, The Knights
WQXR Presents “19 for 19”: Artists to Watch in the Upcoming Year
WQXR
01.02.19
Ward Stare
Auld acquaintance is not forgotten at the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's New Year's Eve concert
KDHX
01.01.19
Marin Alsop, Lawrence Foster, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Mariss Jansons, David Robertson, Donald Runnicles, Patrick Summers, Emmanuel Villaume, Conrad Tao, Andrew von Oeyen, Inon Barnatan, Daniil Trifonov, Blake Pouliot, Isabelle Faust, Edgar Moreau, Yo-Yo Ma, Alisa Weilerstein, Colin Currie Group , Brooklyn Rider , Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Munich , Lisette Oropesa, Michelle DeYoung, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Christian Van Horn, Storm Large
Best of 2018
12.17.18
Richard Kaufman
Cleveland Orchestra, Choruses make it feel like Christmas at Severance Hall
Cleveland Plain Dealer
12.17.18
Vienna Boys Choir
Vienna Boys Choir mix it up with a cosmopolitan “Christmas in Vienna”
New York Classical Review
12.14.18
Storm Large
High-energy holidays with Storm Large at the Sun
KDHX

News archive »

Gramophone Review: Shai Wosner: Impromptu

05.18.17
Shai Wosner
Gramophone

Lest anyone harbour reservations about Shai Wosner’s gifts as an imaginative programmer, this CD should lay them to rest. Using Schubert’s second set of Impromptus and three of Chopin’s eponymous works as connective tissue, he has juxtaposed a series of pieces, ranging from Beethoven to Gershwin, resulting in a veritable feast of spontaneity.

Those familiar with Wosner’s two previous CDs, devoted primarily to Schubert, will find in these D935 Impromptus the same heartfelt lyricism and ultra-refined pianism. In the F minor First, the opening material grows increasingly articulate, with gently lilting tremolo figurations floating beatifically above. The hand-crossing dialogue (2'43") is especially ardent in its longing. The eloquent A flat Second holds its cantabile aloft as if on a cloud. Yet, if one were to quibble in the face of such musical and pianistic wealth, Wosner’s burnished, poised surfaces can obscure a more robust, masculine Schubert, a man subject to mercurial passions who never strays far from the vital roots of Austrian folk music. One could wish that passages evoking yodelling were earthier, repetitive rhythmic figures in the Rosamunde variations more rambunctious, or the flight from the Furies in the final F minor Impromptu more driven.

This abundance of finesse suits the Chopin Impromptus admirably, revealing something akin to epiphanic joy. In Op 29, melancholy mitigates higher spirits naturally and seamlessly. Op 36 exudes morning freshness with gentle sweetness, all the more vivid for the Trio’s ecstatic heroism. The whole emerges with a psychological cohesion rarely encountered in this piece.

Of the other pieces – dreamy Liszt, searchingly expressive Ives, smart Gershwin and Dvorák’s gentle disquietude – the Beethoven Fantasy warrants special mention. Wosner vividly suggests the white-hot inspiration that we know from historical accounts to have been a quality of Beethoven’s improvisations. This reading couldn’t sound more original or spontaneous had it been created on the spot.

Don’t miss this satisfying listen!
 
Read the rest of the review here