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Entdeckungen <br_><br_> Der junge Pianist Sam Haywood ist mit der Familie Isserlis gut befreundet und fand eher zufällig in einer Schublade in deren Haus einige Klavierwerke von Julius Isserlis, dem Großvater des berühmten Cellisten. Da der Notentext voller Druckfehler war, beschloss Haywood, berührt von der Schönheit der Musik, selbst eine neue Edition herauszugeben. Diese Aufnahme beweist, dass sich die Mühe gelohnt hat. In 1989 the young pianist Sam Haywood was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society's Julius Isserlis Scholarship. Years later, having become friends with Julius's grandson Steven, Sam came across some of Julius's piano compositions in a drawer at the house of George, Julius's son. The editions were unclear and full of printing errors; so, struck by the beauty of the music, Sam decided to make his own edition, the fruits of which are to be heard on this recording.
Julius Isserlis was born in 1888 in Kishinev (now Chisinau in Moldova, though then part of Russia). He studied with, among others, Taneyev and Widor. As a Jew, he was exiled from Moscow, escaped from Vienna in 1938 and spent the rest of his life in London. Isserlis's greatest passion was for the music of Frédéric Chopin, who seems to have been his strongest influence.
Nevertheless, his music retains its own very distinctive voice. Many of the short pieces are in minor keys and are pervaded by a yearning melancholy reminiscent of Slavic songs and folk dances. The playful virtuosity of several of the works is an indication not only of Isserlis's own agility on the keyboard but also of that of their dedicatees (including Pablo Casals, who inspired the Ballade for cello and piano for which Sam Haywood is here joined by Steven Isserlis).
Haywood's sensitive, nuanced, technically assured interpretations ought to generate interest among pianists seeking unusual, effective and accessible short pieces. --Gramophone, Feb'14
Haywood proves his persuasive advocate…shedding light on Russian music of the first half of the twentieth century. --IRR,Feb'14
It makes for a delightful hour. If the echoes of Chopin, Rachmaninov,and in one striking instance- Stravinsky's Petrushka are loud and clear in these short pieces, that merely reminds of how those composers were at the centre of Julius's musical world. Performance *** Recording **** --BBC Music Magazine, Mar'14