New Releases on C. Bechstein

C. Bechstein concert grands are regularly used in CD recordings. We are happy to present some particularly exciting new releases.

Martin Helmchen: Schumann

Alpha Classics Martin Helmchen: Schumann

On his new CD, Martin Helmchen juxtaposes Robert Schumann's early, fresh Acht Novelletten with his late, intimate Gesänge der Frühe. The contrast between the early and late works of this conflicted artist is brilliantly executed. Helmchen knows how to elevate the meaningful dissonances of the Gesänge to prayer, while the Noveletten brim with playfulness. The three inserted, colorful soirees musicales from Clara Schumann fully round out the aural experience. A wonderful record that only gains in expressiveness through the warm sound of the historic C. Bechstein grand piano.

The album was recorded in 2021 at the Sendesaal Bremen for Alpha Classics on a C. Bechstein grand piano from 1860 (collection: Chris Maene).

Zlata Chochieva: Chiaroscuro

Naïve Records Zlata Chochieva: Chiaroscuro

On her new CD, Zlata Chochieva sets radiant works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart against what she calls the "apocalyptic sky" of Alexander Scriabin's music. She thus connects two musical worlds that have more in common than is obvious at first glance. The delightfully serene Variations K. 573 and K. 455 meander delicately toward Scriabin's hyper-romantic Preludes, Op. 15 and Op. 16. Zlata Chochieva's crystal clear articulation makes audible the sense of phrasing and form with which both composers write. The dramatic 3rd Sonata as well as Scriabin's last, No. 10, form the heart of this album and the masterful execution of these pieces makes this album an auditory feast.

Chiaroscuro was recorded in December 2021 at b-sharp studio in Berlin on a C. Bechstein concert grand D 282.

Stephen Hough: Schubert

Hyperion Records Stephen Hough: Schubert

No other great composer has left behind as many incomplete works as Franz Schubert. The surviving fragments are hardly known and full of music worth discovering. In his fantastic new album, Stephen Hough, who has a particular fondness for unknown 19th century works, presents the fragment of a piano sonata in E minor, barely more than thirty measures long, and surrounds it with the two sonatas in G major, D894, and A major, D664. Exquisitely played by Stephen Hough, this music comes into its own on the C. Bechstein concert grand. A true musical pleasure!

The album was recorded in April 2020 at the Henry Wood Hall in London on a C. Bechstein concert grand D282.

Cyprien Katsaris: Saint-Saëns

Piano21 Cyprien Katsaris: Saint-Saëns

Cyprien Katsaris has often shown himself to be a master of transcriptions. To mark the centenary of the death of composer Camille Saint-Saëns, Cyprien Katsaris presents works by this versatile composer on his latest CD. The album begins with a transcription of Carnival of the Animals followed by the Hymn to Victor Hugo, the Bacchanale from his opera Samson et Dalila, and arrangements of the complete Organ Symphony and 2nd Piano Concerto. A truly monumental album and a colorful tribute to Saint-Saëns' work.

The final work on the album, the film score for L'Assassinat du duc de Guise, is particularly fascinating. It is the first film score in history ever commissioned by a composer. And Saint-Saëns was only justifiably pleased with his work: dramatically, the six-part suite meanders from one climax to the next, and Cyprien Katsaris exudes so much joy in playing and having fun with the humor of this lively music, despite the incredible number of notes.

The album was recorded in the spring of 2020 and January 2021 at the Église Évangélique Saint-Marcel in Paris on a C. Bechstein concert grand D282 for the Piano21 label.

Michel Dalberto: Once upon a time

La Dolce Volta Michel Dalberto: Once upon a time

On his new CD "Once upon a time" Michel Dalberto immortalizes some of Franz Liszt's most dramatic works: the highly romantic Vallée d'Obermann, four Études d'exécution transcendante, namely Paysage, Mazeppa, Ricordanza and Chasse-neige, as well as his masterpiece, the b minor Sonata, famously premiered on a C. Bechstein in 1857. Fitting, then, the choice of the modern C. Bechstein concert grand, which aptly supports Michel Dalberto's musical narratives and lets his many years of experience with this music clearly be heard. A wonderful album!

The recording took place in December 2021 at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris for the label La Dolce Volta.

Kim Barbier: Ballade

Prospero Classical Kim Barbier: Ballade

"Ballade" is an album that speaks of Kim Barbier's life. The selection of pieces alone reveals much about her varied musical interests, ranging from Scarlatti to Debussy to the music of the contemporary Bruno Delepelaire. Kim Barbier effortlessly switches between the various musical styles and shapes each individual work with great subtlety. One can feel the experience with which she plays the Sonata KV 545 by W.A. Mozart, a work which has accompanied her since childhood. But also the eponymous Ballade No. 1 by Frédéric Chopin indicates that Kim Barbier has lived with this music and that her musical interpretation stems from a conception of sound that has grown over decades. Not missing from this recording, moreover, is a wonderful concert grand piano by C. Bechstein, whose warm sound manages to tell all of Kim Barbier's stories marvelously.

The album was recorded for Prospero Classical in December 2021 at Studio Ölbergkirche Berlin on a C. Bechstein concert grand D282.