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Michele Tozzetti

Bernstein - Complete Solo Piano Music

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1 Sonata: I
2 Sonata: II
3 Touches
4 4 Sabras: I. Ilana. The Dreamer
5 II. Idele. The Chassidele
6 III. Yosi. The Jokester
7 IV. Dina. The Tomboy Who Weeps Alone
8 4 Anniversaries: I. For Felicia Montealegre
9 II. For Johnny Mehegan
10 III. For David Diamond
11 IV. For Helen Coates
12 5 Anniversaries: I. For Elizabeth Rudolf
13 II. For Lukas Foss
14 III. For Elizabeth B. Ehrman
15 IV. For Sandy Gellhorn
16 V. For Susanna Kyle
17 7 Anniversaries: I. For Aaron Copland
18 II. For My Sister, Shirley
19 III. In Memoriam. Alfred Eisner
20 IV. For Paul Bowles
21 V. In Memoriam. Nathalie Koussevitzky
22 VI. For Sergei Koussevitzky
23 VII. For William Schuman
24 Non troppo presto
25 Music for the Dance, No. II: I. Moderato
26 II. Waltz Time
27 III. Allegro non troppo
28 13 Anniversaries: I. For Shirley Gabis Rhoads Perle
29 II. In Memoriam. William Kapell
30 III. For Stephen Sondheim
31 IV. For Craig Urquhart
32 V. For Leo Smit
33 VI. For My Daughter, Nina
34 VII. In Memoriam. Helen Coates
35 VIII. In Memoriam. Goddard Lieberson
36 IX. For Jessica Fleischmann
37 X. In Memoriam. Constance Hope
38 XI. For Felicia, on our 28th Birthday
39 XII. For Aaron Stern
40 XIII. In Memoriam. Ellen Goetz
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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.

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