May 10, 2016 – Pianist Shai Wosner’s eclectic new recording pairs concertos and solo pieces by Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) and György Ligeti (1923-2006), exploring their quirky humor and other connections across centuries. Performing with conductor Nicholas Collon and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Wosner plays Haydn’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G, Haydn’s Piano Concerto No. 11 in D, and Ligeti’s Piano Concerto, one of the most challenging piano works of the late 20th century. The concertos are interspersed with solo works including Haydn’s Capriccio (Fantasia) in C, Haydn’s Capriccio in G, “Acht Sauschnider mussen sein” (It takes eight to castrate a boar), and Ligeti’s rarely heard Capriccios Nos. 1 and 2. The recording will be available from iTunes, Amazon.com and other music retailers on Friday, May 20 in the U.K. and Friday, June 3 in the U.S.
Known for his inventive programming, juxtaposing works by seemingly unrelated composers, Mr. Wosner writes in his liner notes, “Apart from connections with Central European folk music (Haydn’s ‘Ungarese’ style, Ligeti’s early Capriccios for example) or the fact that both were towering figures already in their lifetime (like ‘Papa’ Haydn, Ligeti carries unparalleled direct or indirect influence on almost every young composer today), a particular richness of humor that transcends centuries links their music – like two distant relatives sharing an old family joke. For them, humor is not inferior to other, more ‘elevated’ emotions. On the contrary it makes their music so appealingly personal and enables its glorious capriciousness to turn so convincingly in a blink of an eye from quirky to candid and from tongue-in-cheek to disarmingly sincere.”
This album marks Mr. Wosner’s first orchestral recording and his fourth for the Onyx label. His other solo releases for the label include an album featuring Schubert’s Six Moments Musicaux, D. 780, Schubert’s Sonata in A Major, D. 959 and two works that draw inspiration from Schubert by Missy Mazzoli: Isabelle Eberhardt Dreams of Pianos and A Map of Laughter, commissioned by Mr. Wosner, also an album offering a selection of piano works by Schubert that incorporate elements of folk music; and a recording that juxtaposes works by Brahms and Schoenberg. Mr. Wosner’s first duo recording, with violinist Jennifer Koh, titled Signs, Games + Messages was released on the Cedille Records label. Weaving traditional Central European folk music with 20th century modernism, the recording features works by Bartók, Janáček and Kurtág.
Mr. Wosner has attracted international recognition for his exceptional artistry, musical integrity, and creative insight. He has appeared with major orchestras worldwide including the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony in the U.S.; the Barcelona Symphony, BBC Symphonies, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Hamburg Symphony, Hungarian National Philharmonic, LSO St. Luke’s and Staatskapelle Berlin in Europe; and has worked with conductors Daniel Barenboim, James Conlon, Alan Gilbert, Zubin Mehta and Leonard Slatkin, among others. Mr. Wosner is the recipient of Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award—a prize he used to commission Michael Hersch’s concerto Along the Ravines, which he then performed with the Seattle Symphony and Deutsche Radio Philharmonie-Saarbrücken. His recent recital projects have included The Schubert Effect, a recital series juxtaposing solo and chamber works by Schubert, Missy Mazzoli and Kurtág, performed with the Parker Quartet at the 92nd Street Y in New York, and Bridge to Beethoven with Jenifer Koh, which examined the music of Beethoven and the evolution of classical music through the present by pairing Beethoven’s complete sonatas for violin and piano with new works over four programs. Bridge to Beethoven recitals have been presented in cities nationwide including in New York, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, as well as at the Ravinia, Aspen and Laguna Beach Music festivals, the latter of which, where Mr. Wosner served as guest Artistic Director.
For more information visit www.shaiwosner.com.
For additional artist biographies visit www.onyxclassics.com.
HAYDN • LIGETI CONCERTOS & CAPRICCIOS – ONYX 4174
Shai Wosner, piano
Nicholas Collon, conductor
Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
Piano Concerto No. 4 in G, Hob.XVIII:4
1. I. Allegro moderato 9:19
2. II. Adagio 7:33
3. III. Finale (Rondo-Presto) 4:09
Györgi Ligeti (1923-2006)
4. Capriccio No. 2 2:08
Franz Joseph Haydn
5. Capriccio in G ‘Acht Sauschneider müssen sein’, HobXVII:1 7:15
6. I. Vivace molto ritmico e preciso – Attaca subito: 3:51
7. II. Lento e deserto 6:21
8. III. Vivace cantabile 4:07
9. IV. Allegro risoluto, molto ritmico – Attacca subito: 4:36
10. V. Presto luminoso: Fluido, costante, sempre molto ritmico 3:25
- Capriccio No. 1 2:53
Franz Joseph Haydn
12. Capriccio (Fantasia) in C, Hob.XVII:4 6:16
Piano Concerto No. 11 in D, Hob.XVIII:11
13. I. Vivace 7:31
14. II. Un poco adagio 5:49
15. III. Rondo all’Ungarese (Allegro assai) 4:19
Total timing: 79:39
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