Encounter Igor Levit

Cover Encounter

Album info



Label: Sony Classical

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Instrumental

Artist: Igor Levit

Composer: Morton Feldman (1926-1987), Max Reger (1873-1916), Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924), Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750) & Ferruccio Busoni (1866 - 1924): 10 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27:
  • 110 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27: No. 1, Komm, Gott Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist, BWV 66702:04
  • 210 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27: No. 2, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 64503:16
  • 310 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27: No. 3, Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 65904:13
  • 410 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27: No. 4, Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gmein, BWV 73402:03
  • 510 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27: No. 5, Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 63903:16
  • 610 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27: No. 6, Herr Gott, nun schleuß den Himmel auf, BWV 61702:48
  • 710 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27: No. 7a, Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt, BWV 63702:11
  • 810 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27: No. 7b, Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt. Fuga, BWV 70505:29
  • 910 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27: No. 8, In dir ist Freude, BWV 61502:17
  • 1010 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27: No. 9, Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, BWV 66506:17
  • Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897) & Ferruccio Busoni: 6 Chorale Preludes, BV B 50:
  • 116 Chorale Preludes, BV B 50: Herzlich tut mich erfreuen, Op. 122/402:57
  • 126 Chorale Preludes, BV B 50: Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, Op. 122/502:27
  • 136 Chorale Preludes, BV B 50: Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, Op. 122/802:12
  • 146 Chorale Preludes, BV B 50: Herzlich tut mich verlangen, Op. 122/901:40
  • 156 Chorale Preludes, BV B 50: Herzlich tut mich verlangen, Op. 122/1003:01
  • 166 Chorale Preludes, BV B 50: O Welt, ich muss dich lassen, Op. 122/1103:07
  • Johannes Brahms & Max Reger (1873 - 1916): Vier ernste Gesänge:
  • 17Vier ernste Gesänge: Denn es gehet dem Menschen wie dem Vieh, Op. 121/104:48
  • 18Vier ernste Gesänge: Ich wandte mich und sahe an alle, Op. 121/203:32
  • 19Vier ernste Gesänge: O Tod, wie bitter bist du, Op. 121/304:52
  • 20Vier ernste Gesänge: Wenn ich mit Menschen- und mit Engelszungen redete, Op. 121/404:58
  • Max Reger:
  • 21Nachtlied, Op. 138/3 (Transcription for Piano)03:06
  • Morton Feldman (1926 - 1987):
  • 22Palais de Mari28:46
  • Total Runtime01:39:20

Info for Encounter

The new album ENCOUNTER by IGOR LEVIT will be released on 11 September on Sony Classical. A very personal double album marked by a desire for encounter and togetherness. The program includes rarely played arrangements of Bach and Brahms by Ferruccio Busoni and Max Reger, as well as Palais de Mari – Morton Feldman’s final work for piano.

Igor Levit’s double album “Encounter” seeks sounds that give inner strength and support for the soul. In works by Bach to Max Reger, based on poignant vocal compositions, the desire for encounters and human togetherness is given expression – at a time when isolation is the order of the day. The result is a very personal recital.

The 33-year-old once again steps beyond the limits of pure piano repertoire: in the Busoni transcriptions of Bach’s chorale preludes and the late Brahms, which are rarely heard as complete cycles, Levit assumes the role of an organist who fills vast church spaces. In Johannes Brahms’s Vier ernste Gesänge, he lends instrumental eloquence to overcoming the torments of fearing death. On the other hand, the gentle shimmer produced from its very few notes makes Morton Feldman's extremely quiet work for piano, Palais de Mari (1986), the epitome of a sensuous, transcendental realm of possibilities.

The repertoire presented by Levit here reflects the album’s title. The works create a community of experience for many individuals forced to maintain distance from one another. They establish contact with religious and inward spirituality. In addition, the inner connections between the composers and their respective aesthetics make “Encounter” a journey offering astonishing discoveries, even on ostensibly familiar terrain.

“The restricted isolation in the weeks since mid-March 2020 was often difficult for me too. As an artist, however, I have never felt so free, so open in my life as on those days when I often only decided half an hour before the live stream what I would play in my house concerts,” reports Igor Levit. The complete absence of routine concert activity also had its positive sides: “Being able to make music without any compulsion and spontaneously choosing works in which all questions about love and death, loneliness and the possibility of real love for others are examined, has given my piano playing a level of freedom that I had never before experienced in this form.”

Igor Levit, piano

Igor Levit
starts his 2014-15 season with recital performances featuring staples of his repertoire such as Bach, Beethoven, Busoni and Shostakovich at Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, Prinzregententheater Munich, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Konzerthaus Berlin, as well as at Copenhagen’s Black Diamond, Birmingham’s Town Hall and at Tonhalle Zürich. London’s Wigmore Hall is dedicating an introductory series to Igor Levit featuring three solo recitals throughout the season, the finale being an evening of music by Cornelius Cardew and Frederic Rzewski in July 2015. In spring 2015 Igor Levit returns to the Heidelberger Frühling in his capacity of the Festival’s Chamber Music Academy’s Artistic Director and makes recital debuts with Washington’s Performing Arts Society and The Gilmore in Michigan. Orchestral debuts await with the San Francisco Symphony (Heras-Casado) and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (Norrington) as well as with the hr-Sinfonieorchestr (Manze) and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (Bringuier). The season sees Igor Levit reunited with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden (V. Jurowski) and the WDR Sinfonieorchester (Saraste). He returns in recital to Germany’s summer festivals, Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, Klavierfestival Ruhr, Kissinger Sommer, Festspiele as well as Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and continues his Beethoven Sonata Cycle at the Schubertiade in Austria.

Last season Igor Levit celebrated both his recital and orchestral debut on the main stage of Vienna’s Musikverein to great critical acclaim: jumping in for Maurizio Pollini in June 2014 and for Helene Grimaud (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Andris Nelsons) respectively in March 2014. Only four days earlier on 12 March 2014, Igor Levit made his New York City recital debut at the Park Avenue Armory to effusive reviews both by The New Yorker and The New Times. Further recital performances in 2013-14 saw him amongst others at Zurich’s Tonhalle, at the Berlin Philharmonie and London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. The season marked his debuts with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Konzerthausorchester Berlin and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He was Artist in Residence at the Kissinger Sommer as well as Preisträger in Residence at the Festival Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

An exclusive recording artist for Sony Classical, Igor Levit’s debut disc of the five last Beethoven sonatas won the BBC Music Magazine Newcomer of the Year 2014 Award, the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist Award 2014 and the ECHO 2014 for Solo Recording of the Year (19th Century Music)/Piano. His second recording for Sony – Johann Sebastian Bach’s Six Partitas – was released in August 2014.

Highlights of the 2012-13 season included debuts with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, WDR Sinfonieorchester and Danish National Symphony Orchestra. Nominated by Laeiszhalle Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Kölner Philharmonie and Festspielhaus Baden-Baden for the concert series „ECHO Rising Stars“, Igor Levit has debuted as a recitalist at Brussel’s Palais des Beaux Arts, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Musikverein, Town Hall, Birmingham and Stockholm’s Konserthus.

Mr. Levit has also appeared with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Vienna Symphonic Orchestra and the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover – engagements which were immediately followed by re-invitations. . Having dedicated to Igor Levit eight sonatas of his cycle “Nano Sonaten”, Frederic Rzewski has composed a cycle of four pieces “Dreams II” for him which Igor Levit will premiere at Heidelberger Frühling in 2015. Composer Frederic Rzewski has dedicated eight sonatas of his cycle “Nano Sonaten” to Igor Levit and is currently composing a world premiere for the young pianist in 2015. Among Igor Levit’s chamber music partners are Lisa Batiashvili, Simon Bode, Ning Feng, Julia Fischer, Sol Gabetta, Christiane Karg, Jörg Widmann, Maxim Vengerov and Tabea Zimmermann.

Born in Nizhni Nowgorod in 1987, Igor Levit at age eight moved with his family to Germany where he completed his piano studies at Hannover Academy of Music, Theatre and Media in 2009 with the highest academic and performance scores in the history of the institute. Mr. Levit has studied under the tutelage of Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Matti Raekallio, Bernd Goetze, Lajos Rovatkay and Hans Leygraf.

As youngest participant in 2005 Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv, Igor Levit won the Silver Prize, the Prize for Best Performer of Chamber Music, the „Audience Favorite“ Prize and the Prize for Best Performer of Contemporary Music. Previously, he had won the First Prize of the International Hamamtsu Piano Academy Competition in Japan. Since 2003 Igor Levit has been a scolarship student at Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes as well as at Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben.

Booklet for Encounter

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