“Not only is Bechstein a supplier for royal and imperial courts; it’s also a gift for all pianists.”
Luisa Splett is an internationally recognized Swiss pianist. Born in Winterthur, Switzerland in 1983 to a family of musicians, Ms. Splett launched her piano career at the age of five and gave her first solo performance at the age of seven.
In 2004, she completed her undergraduate studies under Silvia Näsbom-Thellung and Professor Karl-Andreas Kolly in Zurich at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK); In 2006 she graduated (with highest distinction) under Yelena Scherbakova at the “Universidad Mayor de Chile” in Santiago, Chile. In 2007 she moved to Saint Petersburg for Postgraduate studies under the tutelage of Professor Oleg Malov at the Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory. She got her degree in 2009 with highest distinction. Since October 2012 she lives in Berlin as an independent artist and teacher. Beside her career she works on her dissertation at the Unversität der Künste Berlin (UdK) on the Swiss pianist and composer Emil Frey and his pedagogical influences on pianists of his time and beyond. During the last ten years, Luisa has performed concerts as a soloist and chamber musician all over Europe, Russia, North- and South America. Whereever she goes she is invited to teach masterclasses at schools and universites. Luisa Splett speaks six languages fluently, which makes it easy to communicate with her public, colleagues and students from all over the world.
Luisa Splett performs Frey
Emil Frey (1898–1946) was a Swiss pianist and composer who has long since faded into obscurity – which makes it all the more surprising that a contemporary fellow countrywomen, the young pianist Luisa Splett, devoted her postgraduate dissertation to him and chose several of his works for a CD recently released on the label Toccata Classics. For this recording, Splett opted for a C. Bechstein D 282 concert grand, true to the spirit of Frey, who also favored Bechstein pianos.
To a certain extent, the works Luisa Splett chose from Emil Frey’s repertoire of more than one hundred compositions enable us to retrace the composer’s biography: the impressionistic Berceuse, which is part of the Four Pieces for Piano, Op. 12, reflects the influence of Gabriel Fauré, under whom Frey studied in Paris from 1905; Humoresque, Op. 20 and Variations on a Romanian Folk Song, Op. 25 hark back to Frey’s sojourn at the Court of King Carol I of Romania; the Sonata dramatica, Op. 27 is reminiscent of Scriabin and Medtner, under whom Frey had also studied at the Moscow Conservatory after winning the Anton Rubinstein Competition; the Little Slavonic Suite, Op. 38, which he composed after returning to Switzerland following the Russian Revolution, still bears the mark of the happy times he spent in Eastern Europe; and the passacaglia from Suite No. 6, Op. 66, which might be regarded as a homage to Johann Sebastian Bach, whom Frey had admired all his life, bears the influence of Max Reger and possibly also Paul Hindemith.
With this excellent CD, Luisa Splett goes a long way towards hauling Frey back from obscurity. Subtly adapting to his different styles, she skillfully renders the works of the Swiss composer in all their nuances.