Sorabji: Toccata Terza

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The first recording of another monumental work for piano by the composer of Opus clavicembalisticum and Sequentia cyclica.Kaikhosru Sorabji tended to discourage performances of his...

The first recording of another monumental work for piano by the composer of Opus clavicembalisticum and Sequentia cyclica.

Kaikhosru Sorabji tended to discourage performances of his music, feeling that most musicians not only lacked the technical equipment and dedication to conquer his vast scores, but also that they would not satisfactorily grasp their spiritual content. Born in a London suburb of Parsee origin, living for much of his life on a remote Scottish island, Sorabji died in 1988, and only in the last two decades have advances in digital publishing enabled his many unperformed and intimidatingly large pieces to be transferred from manuscript, and then taken on by dedicated performers such as the British pianist Jonathan Powell, whose first recording of the eight-hour Sequentia Cyclica won widespread praise on its release by Piano Classics: Sorabji’s ‘most inclusive and revealing major statement’ according to Gramophone, ‘a wilful yet engrossing challenge that, in Powell, has met its match.’ Composed in the mid-1950s, the Toccata terza had been thought lost until the score turned up in 2019, and Abel Sánchez-Aguilera has produced his own critical edition in order to make this first recording: a monumental labour of love and skill. The Toccata is cast in ten sections, including a 50-minute Passacaglia – one of Sorabji’s favourite forms – and the kind of thorny counterpoint and mountainous climaxes which will be familiar to followers of his music. There are four extant Toccatas: ‘They seem to look back to the examples of Bach and Busoni,’ as Sánchez-Aguilera remarks in his booklet introduction, ‘reinvented in Sorabji’s personal language and expanded to monumental proportions. Notwithstanding their complexity, several features make them particularly effective and accessible to the listener. They make use of familiar procedures – such as the variation and the fugue – and thus establishing clear links with tradition.’

No Sorabji collector will ignore this major new release of his music, and searchers for rarities in the hyper-virtuoso piano repertoire will discover a new treasure.

Product Description:

  • Release Date: May 10, 2024

  • UPC: 5029365103046

  • Catalog Number: PCL10304

  • Label: Piano Classics

  • Number of Discs: 2

  • Composer: Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji

  • Performer: Abel Sanchez-Aguilera