Shawn Piano Works Julia Bartha

Album info



Label: Coviello Classics

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Instrumental

Artist: Julia Bartha

Composer: Allen Shawn (1948)

Album including Album cover


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  • Allen Shawn (b.1948): Five Preludes (for Elizabeth Wright, 1994)
  • 1No. 1, Impetuous02:22
  • 2No. 2, With Longing, Nostalgic. Andante03:26
  • 3No. 3, Restless, Quirky. Scherzando02:28
  • 4No. 4, Reflective. Largo03:36
  • 5No. 5, Demonic02:25
  • Aus/From: Four Jazz Preludes (for my father, 1980):
  • 6Prelude I. Andante.04:13
  • 7Prelude III. Spiritual. Lento cantabile02:47
  • 8Prelude IV. Largo - Freely - Allegro04:24
  • Recollections (for Daniel Epstein, 1998):
  • 9No. 1, Searching, Declarative04:50
  • 10No. 2, Introspective03:41
  • 11No. 3, Playful. Leggiero04:22
  • Piano Sonata No. 4 (for Julia Bartha, 2009):
  • 12I. Tempo giusto05:56
  • 13II. Very Flexibly07:30
  • 14III.02:47
  • 15Valentine for Jamaica Kincaid03:57
  • 16Growl for Amy Williams03:33
  • Three Reveries (1992):
  • 17No. 1, Tempo rubato, Pensive, Floating02:15
  • 18No. 2, Airy, Lyrical03:14
  • 19No. 3, Solemn03:09
  • Total Runtime01:10:55

Info for Shawn Piano Works

Allen Shawn's (b. 1948) compositional oeuvre for piano comprises four sonatas, numerous cycles, preludes, two piano concerti and a host of individual character pieces. An exceptional stylistic diversity and remarkable sensitivity to the aesthetics of timbre marks his works. With spontaneity that almost suggests improvisation, he draws lavishly on the full range of means from rhythm-stressing virtuosity and energetic power right through to the expression of deepest reflectivity and melancholy. Mr. Shawn communicates his emotionality straight to the listener.

“This recent recording offers an immersion into Mr. Shawn’s piano music, played brilliantly by Julia Bartha. The works range from “Aus/From: Four Jazz Preludes,” composed in 1980 for his father, to his Piano Sonata No. 4 (2009), dedicated to Ms. Bartha. You hear lots of styles in Mr. Shawn’s voice: moody atonality, hints of Janacek, thickly chromatic lyricism, Messiaen-like cluster chords, rhythmic bursts that out-pummel Prokofiev. Yet Mr. Shawn’s own voice comes through in the deliberate, skillful, personal way he composes these pieces. And they are dazzlingly conceived for the piano. But none of the challenges daunt the impressive Ms. Bartha.“ (Anthony Tommasini, New York Times)

Julia Bartha, piano

Julia Bartha
„Bartha's particular interest in combining literature and music brought her into collaboration with theatre practitioners such as Cornelia Froboess and Rainer Piwek at the acclaimed Thalia Theater in Hamburg.“ Christine Madden, Irish Times.

First prize-winner of the ‘Jugend musiziert’ competition, !nalist at the Clara-Haskil Competition in Vevey/Switzerland, and prize-winner at the Gian Battista Viotti International Music Competition in Vercelli (Italy): Julia Bartha achieved the leap on to major podiums of the German-speaking and wider international world at an early age. She has appeared at numerous festivals including the Schleswig Holstein Musikfestival, the Niedersächsische Musiktage, the Göttingen International Handel Festival, the Fringe Festival Dublin/Ireland, Carrick Water Music Festival Carrick/Ireland, the Salon des Arts Festival, So!a/Bulgaria, and the Gaia-Kammermusikfestival, Thun/Switzerland. As soloist she has performed under conductors including Nicholas McGegan, Gabriel Feltz and Saulius Sondeckis, for example, with orchestras such as the Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, the Heidelberger Sinfoniker, Cappella Istropolitana and Camerata St. Petersburg.

Julia Bartha’s unique pro!le as a concert pianist is highlighted by the refreshingly unconventional ways in which she bridges the gap between di"erent forms of artistic expression. Standing at the centre of her activities alongside her classical concert work, which embraces the full repertoire for the piano from Baroque to contemporary, are innovative projects realised in cooperation with artists from the worlds of literature, theatre and the visual arts, and with musicians from a host of diverse genres. Among these are concert readings with actors such as Cornelia Froboess, Rainer Piwek, Ingrid Andree, Hanns Zischler, Heikko Deutschmann and Julia Hansen, and art and video installations in productions combining music, text and image in interaction.

Julia Bartha is co-founder and pianist of the Ensemble Inter Pares, a group engaging with contemporary composition and staged events. In March 2010 the Ensemble made its debut at the Paul Klee Zentrum in Berne/Switzerland with the world premiere of the monodrama Paul Klee Splitter by the composer Thorsten Encke from Hannover. In September 2010, Julia Bartha travelled on the invitation of Bennington College to Vermont/USA, where she gave the !rst performance of the 4th Sonata for Piano by American composer Allen Shawn. Julia Bartha is the Sonata’s dedicatee.

Julia Bartha completed her artistic training with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, emerging from the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media with the Concert Diploma. She found further artistic inspiration at the Konservatorium in Zurich working with Homero Francesch, and at master classes with John O'Conor, Igor Ozim and Dmitri Bashkirov. From 1994 to 1999, Julia Bartha held a scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation and in 1994 she was awarded a prize by the Marie-Luise Imbusch Foundation, Lübeck. In 2000 her name was placed on the list of especially highly recommended young artists issued by the German Music Council. Since 2009, Julia Bartha has been teaching her instrument at the Leipzig Music College. She lives with her husband and two daughters in the central German city of Göttingen.

This album contains no booklet.

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