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Francois-Xavier Poizat: Pianorchestra 2
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Francois-Xavier Poizat: Pianorchestra 2

- CD Reviews


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Pianorchestra 2
François-Xavier Poizat
www.fxpoizat.com
2018 www.ars-produktion.de

Bedřich Smetana - The Moldau (Vltava)

Igor Stravinsky - Suite of five pieces from the ballet Petrushka.

Aram Khachaturian - Adagio from the ballet Spartacus.

Sergei Prokofiev – Three pieces for piano, Op. 96
from War and Peace and Lermontov.

Maurice Ravel - La Valse.

Dmitri Shostakovich – From Suite for Variety Orchestra
“Waltz No. 2”
.

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
July 18, 2019


See a Review of a Poizat Piano Recital at Weill Hall.
See a Review of a Poizat Piano Event at Steinway Hall.

This CD is a selection of arrangements of orchestral works, transcribed for piano. The recording is an homage to Hausmusik, piano arrangements that would be performed in the 19th century and first half of the 20th century in private homes and local venues. The pianist is able, during the salon performance, to enhance expressiveness in tone and style. I have come to know François-Xavier Poizat, a rising star in the international classical concert community, of Swiss, French and Chinese origins. He graduated from the Geneva and Hamburg Conservatory and from the Juilliard School in New York. Listening to this recording is akin to attending a European-styled salon.

Mr. Poizat takes the listener to Bohemia, 1874, for Smetana’s ode to The Moldau (arr. H. von Kàan-Albést), then to Russia, 1911, for excerpts of Stravinsky’s ballet music for Petrushka (arr. T. Szántó), then ahead in time to Tbilisi, for the Adagio from Khachaturian’s 1954 ballet music for Spartacus (arr. M. Cameron), then back to 1941-42 Russia, for Prokofiev’s own piano arrangements of his operas, War and Peace and Lermontov, then to 1919-1920 France for Ravel’s La Valse (arr. A. Ghindin), and finally back to 1956 Russia for Shostakovich’s “Waltz. No. 2” from Suite for Variety Orchestra (arr. F. Noack). The entire album is gorgeous.

Notable tracks:

#1 – The Moldau – Composed by B. Smetana. This arrangement of the Moldau makes nature come alive, with rushing waves formed from rippling springs. You hear the country polka, of a village wedding, with staccato steps, before the piece develops in intensity and grandeur. Mr. Poizat adds drama and dimension to this sumptuous work, well known orchestrally. It ends on two dynamic, definitive chords.

#7 – Adagio from ‘Spartacus’ - Composed by A. Khachaturian. I have never seen this ballet, although I see numerous ballets each season. This is now a mission, even just to watch the ballet on video, to hear this exquisite adagio in its orchestral form. Mr. Poizat plays it with such pathos and poignancy, yearning and romanticism, this album is worth having just for this track.

#11 – La Valse – Composed by M. Ravel. I have seen and reviewed Balanchine’s 1951 ballet, many times, to the original orchestration, and Mr. Poizat captures the essence of the drama and psychic dilemma, as well as the contagious dance rhythms. As a former ballroom student, I know the sheer joy of the waltz, and on this album the swirling, dervish rhythms abound.

#12 – Waltz No. 2 – Composed by D. Shostakovich. The pièce de résistance of this album was Mr. Poizat’s impressive shift in mood and tone to a dancehall styled waltz, composed by Shostakovich. This track could literally accompany a couple in waltz performance, so textured in tempo and rapture. I could see a musical show developed around this theme. Maybe there is one. Once again, this album provides eloquent, sophisticated listening enjoyment.





For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at