Bernstein: Complete Solo Piano Music Michele Tozzetti

Cover Bernstein: Complete Solo Piano Music

Album info



Label: Piano Classics

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Instrumental

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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  • Leonard Bernstein (1918 - 1990): Sonata:
  • 1I. —05:02
  • 2II. —09:25
  • Touches:
  • 3Touches08:31
  • 4 Sabras:
  • 4I. Ilana. The Dreamer01:14
  • 5II. Idele. The Chassidele01:46
  • 6III. Yosi. The Jokester00:57
  • 7IV. Dina. The Tomboy Who Weeps Alone00:59
  • 4 Anniversaries:
  • 8I. For Felicia Montealegre02:13
  • 9II. For Johnny Mehegan00:40
  • 10III. For David Diamond01:28
  • 11IV. For Helen Coates01:18
  • 5 Anniversaries:
  • 12I. For Elizabeth Rudolf01:17
  • 13II. For Lukas Foss01:46
  • 14III. For Elizabeth B. Ehrman00:44
  • 15IV. For Sandy Gellhorn01:36
  • 16V. For Susanna Kyle01:26
  • 7 Anniversaries:
  • 17I. For Aaron Copland01:25
  • 18II. For My Sister, Shirley01:08
  • 19III. In Memoriam. Alfred Eisner02:32
  • 20IV. For Paul Bowles01:18
  • 21V. In Memoriam. Nathalie Koussevitzky01:59
  • 22VI. For Sergei Koussevitzky01:02
  • 23VII. For William Schuman00:41
  • Non troppo presto:
  • 24Non troppo presto01:54
  • Music for the Dance, No. II:
  • 25I. Moderato00:56
  • 26II. Waltz Time01:12
  • 27III. Allegro non troppo01:37
  • 13 Anniversaries:
  • 28I. For Shirley Gabis Rhoads Perle01:27
  • 29II. In Memoriam. William Kapell00:25
  • 30III. For Stephen Sondheim01:15
  • 31IV. For Craig Urquhart00:54
  • 32V. For Leo Smit00:30
  • 33VI. For My Daughter, Nina02:18
  • 34VII. In Memoriam. Helen Coates02:45
  • 35VIII. In Memoriam. Goddard Lieberson01:01
  • 36IX. For Jessica Fleischmann02:14
  • 37X. In Memoriam. Constance Hope02:19
  • 38XI. For Felicia, on our 28th Birthday01:21
  • 39XII. For Aaron Stern02:00
  • 40XIII. In Memoriam. Ellen Goetz02:05
  • Total Runtime01:16:40

Info for Bernstein: Complete Solo Piano Music

Bernstein's piano output reflects the various strands of his multifaceted personality, in works as different as Touches (1981) – influenced by Aaron Copland’s thorny Piano Variations – and , at the other end of the scale, his often tender, sentimental Anniversaries, miniatures written in commemoration of important people in his life. Taken together his piano works form a musical diary tracing the breadth of his experiences and ideas. Smaller piano pieces often preview bigger things to come. Four of his Five Anniversaries (1949-51) appear as themes in his violin concerto, the Serenade after Plato’s “Symposium.”

The personal commemorations he created were not portraits so much as self-portrayals, revealing different aspects of his own multi-faceted personality. To play these works well requires an understanding of the various elements that made up the Bernstein persona. The Italian pianist Michele Tozzetti brings out the heartfelt tenderness of most of these tributes, the Jewish elements and the dance rhythms.

In the Anniversary dedicated to Aaron Copland (in Seven Anniversaries, 1943), Tozzetti captures the sound and spirit of the man Bernstein called ‘my first friend in New York, my master, my idol, my sage, my shrink, my guide, my counselor, my elder brother, [and] my beloved friend.’ The pianist reveals a delicate sense of sonority along with fine dynamic control in For Paul Bowles, and brings an idiomatic edginess to For Sergei Koussevitzky. He also injects youthful vigour into Bernstein’s Sonata (1937), a probing work rich in counterpoint, written when the the composer was still a student.

Also on this recording are Non Troppo Presto, a manuscript discovered in the Leonard Bernstein archive at the Library of Congress; and Touches: Chorale, Eight Variations and Coda, commissioned by the Van Cliburn Piano Competition in 1981. Its bluesy chorale is identical to Virgo Blues, written for his daughter, Jamie on her twenty-sixth birthday in 1978. Bernstein dedicated this work ‘to my first love, the keyboard’. In Michele Tozzetti’s hands, that love is beautifully realized.

Leonard Bernstein was without doubt one of the most important musical figures of 20th century America: active as pianist, composer, conductor, teacher and media star, he was in short a musical icon. 2018 saw the centenary of his birth, which generated a renewed interest in this towering genius.

Bernstein’s compositions are as multi-faceted as the man himself: his “Touches” is influenced by the thorny and fiercely dissonant sounds of Copland’s variations while the “Anniversaries” are touching and sometimes even sentimental commemorations of important people in his life. Bernstein’s complete piano works are played on this new recording by the young Italian pianist Michele Tozzetti, who plays on a superb Fazioli grand piano F278.

The booklet contains liner notes written by the noted author Stuart Isacoff.

Michele Tozzetti, piano

Michele Tozzetti
was born in Rome in 1991 he approached the piano at the age of 5. When he was 13 he started studying at the Anton Rubinstein music school in Rome with Sara Matteo and Andrea Feroci. He attended the Music Conservatory “Santa Cecilia” of Rome, where he studied Piano with Piero Tramoni, Donatella Di Paolo and Chamber Music with Monica De Matteis, Roberto Galletto and Giuseppe Massimo Sabatini and in 2017 he got his master degree under the guidance of Maestro Elisabetta Pacelli.

He took part to many Piano and Chamber Music Masterclasses, with musicians such as Paul Badura-Skoda, Claudio Martinez Mehner, Jeffrey Swann, Boris Berman, Andrzej Pikul, Bruno Canino, Michele Marvulli, Roberto Cappello, Marje Lohuaru and Carmen Mayo. In 2013 he won a scolarship to attend the Conservatoire Royal De Bruxelles where he studied with Johan Schmidt, Yoko Kikuchi e Daniel Rubenstein. He has attended annual Masterclasses since 2015 with Roberto Prosseda and Alessandra Ammara whom he considers as his mentors. In 2016 he was selected with other 5 young italian pianists to record the tv programme “Dentro la Musica” with Roberto Prosseda, broadcasted on SKY Classica in 2017.

He has Chamber Music collaborations with Riccardo Schioppa, Gianmarco Corinto, Ilario Fantone, Misia Sophia Jannoni Sebastianini, Ana Aranda and Samuele Telari. In 2018 he created as artistic director a Music Festival in Rome named “La Domenica Che si Nota”.

Booklet for Bernstein: Complete Solo Piano Music

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