AMMANN: The Piano Concerto - Graan Toccata). RAVEL: Concerto for the Left Hand. BARTOK: Piano Concerto No 2
Andreas Haefliger, piano.Helsiki Phiharmonic Orchestra / Susanna Mäikki, cond.
BIS SACD 231- TT: 75:30

LISZT: Schwanengesang. Quarte Valses oublisés
Can Çakmar, piano
BIS SACD 2530 TT: 80:12

BACH-HEKKEMA: Musical Offerings
PENTATONE SACD 5186840 TT: 67:41

German-born Swiss pianist Andreas Haefliger (b. 1962) is the son of famed tenor Ernest Haefliger. He has enjoyed a varied career and made a number of fine recordings incudig contempoary works as well a Mozart and Schubert. He is soloist on this new disk that opens with an odd work by Swiss composer Dieter Ammann (b. 1962) who has won many awards. He composes in distinctive new s†style, his music reflecting his personal interest in the trumpet, t keyboard instruments and electronic music. Little of his music has ben recorded, and here we have a major work, his piano concerto written 2016 - 2019 for his friend Andreas Haefliger, for whom it was written and who gave the premiere. Oddly titled The Piano Concerto (Gran Toccata) the 31-minute work consists of three sections: Molto ritmico, Bar 272, and Upbeat to bar 445. It is a fragmented, intricate work with odd outbursts of sound. I found it to be of minimal interest; there surely is nothing "grand" about it. We can be sure this performance is exactly what the composer intended. Haefliger also plays two familiar works, Ravel's Concerto for the Left Hand and Bartok's Concerto No. 3, performances that do not challenge any of the extant recordings of these works. Should you e looking for something rather bizarre for piano and orchestra, try the Ammann concert. Recordings were made on three different dates in 2019 in Helsinki's Music Center, and the BIS engineers have done their usual superb job

Young Turkish pianist Can Çakmur (b. 1997) (pronounced Djahn Tchakmus) has won a number of major competitions in the past few years. BIS already has issued some f his winning performances from the 2018 Hamamatsu International Piano Competition.Tis new SACD (for which the pianist wrote program notes) features music of Liszt, the major work being Schwanengesang, his collection of 14 Schubert lieder. These are not virtuoso showpieces; Liszt respected original texts and embellishes the music in elegant fashion. Virtuosity is more to the fore in the concluding works, all composed by Liszt during his later years and all new settings of earlier unpublished works, here described as "forgotten" These will be new to most listeners except for the first which has been recorded by many major pianists. These recordings were made January 2020 in the U's Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, and the audio is superb.

Bach's 15-part Musical Offering was a product of his final years, written for and dedicated to Frederih the Great. This music is heard here in an arrangement by Raaf Hekkema played by the Calefax ensemble which consists of Oliver Boekhoon (oboe, oboe d'amore, English horn), Ivar Berix (clarinet and E-flat clarinet), Raaf Hekkema (soprano ad alto saxophones), Jelte Althuis (bassett horn and bass clarinet), Alban Wesly (bassoon), and Arthur Klaassens (lupophone and English horn). All are virtuoso performers This recording was made June 2020 in Doopsgezinde Kerk, Netherlands. Engineering captures this unique approach t Bah in a most realistic way.

R.E.B. (October 2020)