1919: Boulanger, Janáček, Elgar & Debussy Benjamin Baker & Daniel Lebhardt
Label: Delphian Records
Subgenre: Chamber Music
Artist: Benjamin Baker & Daniel Lebhardt
Composer: Lili Boulanger (1893-1918), Claude Debussy (1862-1918), Leoš Janáček (1854-1928), Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)
- Leoš Janáček (1854 - 1928): Sonata for Violin and Piano:
- 1Janáček: Sonata for Violin and Piano: I. Con moto05:15
- 2Janáček: Sonata for Violin and Piano: II. Ballada: Con moto05:08
- 3Janáček: Sonata for Violin and Piano: III. Allegretto02:45
- 4Janáček: Sonata for Violin and Piano: IV. Adagio04:45
- Lili Boulanger (1893 - 1918): Two Pieces for Violin and Piano:
- 5Boulanger: Two Pieces for Violin and Piano: No. 1, Nocturne02:44
- 6Boulanger: Two Pieces for Violin and Piano: No. 2, Cortège01:53
- Claude Debussy (1862 - 1918): Sonata for Violin and Piano:
- 7Debussy: Sonata for Violin and Piano: I. Allegro vivo05:09
- 8Debussy: Sonata for Violin and Piano: II. Intermède: Fantasque et léger04:25
- 9Debussy: Sonata for Violin and Piano: III. Finale: Très animé04:37
- Lili Boulanger: D’un matin de printemps:
- 10Boulanger: D’un matin de printemps05:00
- Edward Elgar (1857 - 1934): Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 82:
- 11Elgar: Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 82: I. Allegro08:23
- 12Elgar: Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 82: II. Romance: Andante08:10
- 13Elgar: Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 82: III. Allegro, non troppo08:24
Info for 1919: Boulanger, Janáček, Elgar & Debussy
The 1910s were a period of extraordinary turbulence and change. Revolutions and war left monarchies and empires fallen and the social order irreversibly altered. The music on this album emerges from various points in that eventful decade, but all of it records vividly a world that was shortly to vanish forever – a world to which the year 1919 was already a coda.
Indeed, the pieces chosen by Benjamin Baker and Daniel Lebhardt for their second Delphian recording also speak from a decade of musical endings. Claude Debussy and Lili Boulanger both died in 1918, two extraordinary careers cut short early; Baker and Lebhardt’s programme includes some of their last works. Edward Elgar lived on for another fifteen years, but wrote little more to match the four major compositions which emerged from his pen in 1918 and 1919.
Leoš Janáček, by contrast, was about to enter an astonishing Indian summer of creativity; his violin sonata stands on the cusp, inspired by Janáček’s hopes that the war might lead to independence for his beloved Czech lands.
"By 1919, two of the named composers were dead and a third was worn out. Only Leos Janacek was firing on all cylinders – indeed, on more cylinders than he ever had before. If 1919 was a benchmark, it is not evident from their lifecycles. However, the year does mark an end-point for the war era and these sonatas exist in that immediate past, with no thought of present or future ... Bringing these disparities to life are two UK-based musicians, the New Zealand violinist Benjamin Baker and the Hungarian pianist Daniel Lebhardt. If they strive a little too hard for conventional beauty in Janacek, their austerity is perfect for Debussy and Elgar, evoking a restrained sympathy for these morbid confessions The playing is marvellously poised, an exemplary concept album aptly adapted to each composer’s circumstances and individuality. Baker and Lebhardt tell four very human stories, each of them flawed. I was on the edge of my seat throughout." (La Scena Musicale)
Benjamin Baker, violin
Daniel Lebhardt, piano
Since winning 1st Prize at the 2016 Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York and 3rd Prize at the Michael Hill Competition in New Zealand in 2017 Benjamin has established a strong international presence.
Described by the New York Times as bringing ‘virtuosity, refinement and youthful exuberance’ to his debut at Merkin Concert Hall he is much sought after as soloist and chamber musician.
Recent highlights include regular appearances at Wigmore Hall and on BBC Radio 3, his debut with Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the East Neuk Festival and with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in NZ, alongside solo recordings with the BBC Concert and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras.
He has undertaken tours of the USA, Colombia, China and Argentina and taken part in the Al Bustan Festival in Lebanon and the Sanguine Estate Music Fesitval in Australia.
This season sees the launch of his festival in Queenstown, New Zealand - At the World’s Edge Festival and solo appearances with the Auckland Philharmonia, Fort Worth Symphony and London Philharmonic Orchestras. In 2021 Delphian Records release his recording with pianist Daniel Lebhardt.
Other solo appearances in recent seasons include the Philharmonia, Auckland Philharmonia, RTE Concert Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra Simón Bolívar of Venezuela, Krasnoyarsk Philharmonic, Albanian Radio Symphony, Royal Northern Sinfonia, London Mozart Players, Long Bay Symphony, National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain, Sinfonia Cymru, Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzese L’Aquila, and Maui Pops Orchestras.
In 2017 he premiered a new Concerto ‘Stranded' by Matthew Kaner for the European Commission’s celebration of Europe Day at St. John’s Smith Square and collaborated as soloist with the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company.
Sought after as a chamber musician, Benjamin has taken part in festivals across Europe and the USA including the Pärnu, East Neuk, Cheltenham, Steirisches Kammermusik, Northern Chords Festivals, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival with Anthony Marwood and Caramoor‘s Rising Stars series with Pamela Frank.
Born in New Zealand, Benjamin studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal College of Music where he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Rose Bowl. In 2013 he won 1st Prize at the Windsor International Competition and was a prize-winner at the YCAT International Auditions in London. He was a Fellow at the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute in Chicago in 2016 and 2017. His first CD for Champs Hill Records was released in 2015 and immediately went to No.12 in the Classical Charts.
Benjamin plays on a Tononi violin (1709) on generous loan from a private individual. He is also grateful for support from The Carne Trust.
has impressed audiences and critics alike with his thoughtful interpretations and outstanding virtuosity. Mr. Lebhardt won First Prize at the 2014 Young Concert Artists Auditions in Paris, and then won YCA’s International Auditions in New York, where he was also awarded the Paul A. Fish Memorial Prize and four concert performance prizes. Among his many other accolades, Mr. Lebhardt won First Prizes at the Russian Music International Piano Competition in California, Citta di Gorizia International Piano Competition in Italy, Kosice International Piano Competition in Slovakia, and Carl Filtsch International Piano Competition in Romania. He also won the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) 2015 Auditions in London and the Most Promising Pianist Prize at the 2016 Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia.
As a result of winning the Royal Academy of Music’s prestigious Patron’s Award, Mr. Lebhardt gave his Wigmore Hall recital debut in 2015, and is scheduled to return there this fall. This season also includes appearances at the Oxford International and Nottingham International Piano Series, his debut with the State Academic Symphony Orchestra at the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, and with the CBSO Youth Orchestra. Further afield he undertakes tours of China, Argentina, Columbia and Chile.
Mr. Lebhardt has appeared at the BBC Proms in a concert recorded and broadcast by BBC Radio 3, London’s Steinway Hall, the Pounds Arts Centre in Wiltshire, the Senate House in London, the Bela Bartok Memorial House and Liszt Museum in Budapest, the Musée du Louvre in Paris, Germany’s Usedom Music Festival, and in Hungary, Austria and Japan.
Mr. Lebhardt travels to Colombia to give recitals at the Festival de Ibagué in Colombia, and returns to New York’s Merkin Concert Hall this season to perform in recital. In previous seasons, his concerts in the U.S. have included recitals in the Young Concert Artists Series at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and in New York at the Morgan Library & Museum and Merkin Concert Hall, for Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Embassy Series in Washington, DC and University of Florida Performing Arts, as well as in Canada at the Canadian Opera Company’s Piano Virtuoso Series. He has appeared as concerto soloist in the U.S. with the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra and the Auburn Symphony Orchestra.
A native of Hungary, Mr. Lebhardt started piano lessons at the age of six, and from the age of nine attended the Special School of the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, studying with István Gulyás and Gyöngyi Keveházi. He attended the Royal Academy of Music in London with Christopher Elton, and the studio of Pascal Nemirovski. He has played in master classes for Alfred Brendel, Leslie Howard, Ferenc Rados and Mikhail Voskresensky.