INTRODUCING THE ARTIST:
When these selections were first released in 1965 on two LPs, they were not only each the recipient of a Grammy nomination for best classical recording of the year, but the pianist Raymond Lewenthal was also nominated in the “Most Promising New Classical Artist” category. Now, for the first time, these extraordinary documents of romantic pianism at its best are digitally remastered and presented on compact disc. This recording not only introduces a whole new generation of piano aficionados to the unique artistry of pianist Raymond Lewenthal, but also features music which had been neglected for nearly a century until revived by Lewenthal in the early sixties. As a child, Raymond Lewenthal began piano studies with Lydia Cherkassky, mother and teacher of pianist Shura Cherkassky. After winning major piano competitions in 1945, he enrolled at the Juilliard School where his teacher was Olga Samaroff-Stokowski. Following a debilitating accident in 1953 which caused him to retire from the concert stage for ten years, he turned his attention to a study of unusual repertoire from the Romantic school. When he returned to the spotlight following this lengthy absence, it was with a program of the music of Alkan. The public and critical response was so overwhelmingly favorable, that G. Schimer asked him to prepare an edition of Alkan’s works for publication.
“…Keenly aware of style, Lewenthal was that rarest of rare birds‹the pianist savant gifted with a narrative flair which, in chromatically scintillant prose, not only transformed mere history into entrancing fables but projected that aura of the fabulous into compelling performances…ÉLAN continues to command the grateful respect of all piano-aficionados by breathing new digital life into key, landmark classic performances…count your blessings and grab this immediately…” Adrian Corleonis Fanfare
Alkan: Le Festin d’Ésope; Barcarolle; Quasi-Faust; Symphonie;