My Rachmaninoff / Krichel

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Under the title My Rachmaninoff, Alexander Krichel will release his new album on Berlin Classics on March 24, 2023, and with it a very personal...

Under the title My Rachmaninoff, Alexander Krichel will release his new album on Berlin Classics on March 24, 2023, and with it a very personal tribute to the Russian pianist and composer, whose birthday will be celebrated for the 150th time just a few days later. For his eighth album, Alexander Krichel has selected works that have shaped his strong connection to Rachmaninoff. From the world-famous Prélude Op. 3 No. 2 in C-sharp minor to the virtuosic Corelli Variations and Études-Tableaux, some of the most difficult repertoire written for piano, to the concluding Vocalise, Krichel invites listeners to discover Rachmaninoff's biography musically. He wants to inspire his audience with the music of this great composer in the same way that it once captivated him. 2023 is the year of Rachmaninoff anniversaries: April 1 would have marked the 150th birthday of the Russian composer, pianist and conductor, and March 28 marks the 80th anniversary of his death.

High time for Alexander Krichel, after the great success of his first Rachmaninoff album in 2015 on Sony Classical, to dedicate himself once again to the composer who has always accompanied and shaped his playing and his career. With two of the greatest contemporary Russian pianists as teachers - Alexander Krichel was Vladimir Krainev's last student in Hanover and studied at the Royal College of Music with Dmitri Alexeev - the exceptional Hamburg-born artist developed a strong connection to the Russian piano school. This is noticeable in his playing - he combines risk-taking keyboard thunder with a highly sensitive feeling for sound. Alexander Krichel had his first encounter with Rachmaninoff when he was nine years old at a youth piano competition, where an older competitor entered the Prélude in C-sharp minor. "I was just talking to my piano teacher, and although I only heard the music in the background, the first three dramatic notes grabbed me right away and wouldn't let go," the pianist said. In order to expose his audience directly to the captivating effect of Rachmaninoff, Alexander Krichel opens his album with precisely this piece, which is also biographically one of Rachmaninoff's first works.

Together with the Prélude Op. 23 No. 5 in G minor and the Prélude Op. 32 No. 12 in G-sharp minor, the works quite literally form a prelude to the journey through Rachmaninoff's musical biography. With the Études-Tableaux op. 39, Alexander Krichel places one of Rachmaninoff's pianistic highlights at the center of his album, which, with great successes in South America and Asia, became a door opener for him personally to the stages of the world. The composer described the nine highly virtuosic etudes as musical "paintings" that always place the strong emotional message above the challenging technical background. The final work, composed by Rachmaninoff for solo piano 15 years after his emigration to the United States, is the Corelli Variations, miniatures that range from jazzy to classically virtuosic and are so individual that each could stand alone as a composition.

The album culminates with one of Rachmaninoff's most famous works: the Vocalise. With it, Alexander Krichel closes the circle and returns to the key of the first composition: C-sharp minor, a key for which Rachmaninoff was so well known that he was even called "Mr. C Sharp Minor" in the USA. "Whether I'm soaring high or saddened to death, I feel a special connection to Rachmaninoff; we share a very similar intense emotionality," is how Krichel describes his relationship with Sergei Rachmaninoff. "Especially in difficult or deeply sad moments, his music shows me that I am neither alone with my feeling of melancholy, nor that it is wrong to give in to it. In his compositions I don't look for consolation, but I find a friend who understands me and with whom I can share every feeling." "My Rachmaninoff" will be released on CD and 2 LP on March 24, 2023 by Berlin Classics as well as all known streaming services.

Product Description:

  • Release Date: April 07, 2023

  • UPC: 885470029573

  • Catalog Number: 0302957BC

  • Label: Berlin Classics

  • Number of Discs: 2

  • Period: Late Romantic

  • Composer: Sergei Rachmaninoff

  • Performer: Alexander Krichel