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This article was written on 20 nov 2010, and is filled under CD New-releases.

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Dmitri Bashkirov – OCL: Beethoven, CPE Bac – CD 50-1010

He is one of the « superstars » of the piano world. An exceptional teacher – his pupils include stars such as Arcadi Volodos or Claire-Marie Le Guay – Dmitri Bashkirov’s debut with Claves combines a most original programme with orchestra. Face to face, we have: Johann Sebastian Bach’s most famous son, Carl Philip Emanuel, forbearer of the great Romantic composers, and an unusual Ludwig van Beethoven. This particular Concerto op. 61a is indeed very rarely played, copying almost note for note the original score of the Violin Concerto op. 61. Written about two years after the completion of the latter, this transcription – for which Etienne Barilier suggests the term « transposition » in the booklet – is shrouded in mystery. Is it the consequence of the original lack of success of the violin concerto, or Beethoven’s response to the pianist and editor Muzio Clementi who commissioned the work? Beyond these unanswered questions, Etienne Barilier underlines the relevance of pairing this work to CPE Bach’s Concerto in C minor: « Bach had written for the harpsichord; to resort to the piano tends to « modernise » his world. Whereas on the other hand, Beethoven’s almost monophonic piano has a somewhat archaic and strangely nude feel, which sends his work back in time. So that for us, both works seem closer to each other in time, with an almost comparable « sensibility », both bright and serene, with the same deep expressivity, free from pathos. For Carl Philip Emanuel Bach, the storms of Romanticism are still far away. For Beethoven, they are very close indeed; in this strange work however, he keeps them at bay. » What with Dmitry Bashkirov’s magnificent interpretation and the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne’s delicate and artful accompaniment, this will make for a memorable recording.

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