Bernstein - Complete Solo Piano MusicPiano Classics
In the annals of American music, there is no other figure quite like Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990): conductor, composer, pianist, teacher, and media star. "Lenny," as his friends called him, was, from the 1940s onward, a durable part of the American fabric, the last classical artist ever to become a household name in the United States. Though widely celebrated-especially for his popular theater works, of which'West Side Story'is the enduring masterpiece, and for his presence on television as the nation's most renowned musical educator-his fame was not achieved without a great deal of controversy.
Michele Tozzetti accomplishes the task brilliantly. He finds the heartfelt tenderness in'Ilana, the Dreamer, brings out the Jewish elements in'Idele, the'Chassidele and animates the dance rhythms of'Yosi, the Jokester'(likely meant as a tribute to cartoonist Yossi Stern). The spirit of Aaron Copland hovers over all of this music; in the'Anniversary'dedicated to him,'For Aaron Copland'(in'Seven Anniversaries, 1943), Tozzetti captures the sound and spirit of the man Bernstein called "my first friend in New York, my master, my idol, my sage, my shrink, my guide, my counselor, my elder brother, [and] my beloved friend." The pianist reveals a delicate sense of sonority along with exquisite dynamic control in'For Paul Bowles, and musters the perfect aggressive edginess to bring to life'For Sergei Koussevitzky.'He injects youthful vigor into Bernstein's Sonata (1937), a probing work rich in counterpoint, written when the composer was still a student.
Michele Tozzetti captures Leonard Bernstein's solo piano music with meticulous detail / Classical Music Sentinel
None of the piano "greats" seem to have performed or recorded the solo piano music of Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990). Perhaps simply because most of it, with some exceptions, does not speak directly to the heart but instead appeals to the intellect. Italian pianist Michele Tozzetti captures and projects all of these facets of a complex individual very well, with meticulous attention to details, accents, a...