Emil FREY: Piano Music, Volume One

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Catalogue No: TOCC0339
EAN/UPC: 5060113443397
Release Date: 2016-02-01
Composer: Emil Frey
Artists: Luisa Splett

The music of the Swiss pianist-composer Emil Frey (1889–1946) reflects the stages of his career: studies with Fauré, friendship with Enescu, teaching in pre-Revolutionary Russia and mature familiarity with developments back in western Europe. This first survey of his music also reveals a virtuoso’s understanding of the piano and a sense both of drama and of fun.

Luisa Splett, piano

Listen To This Recording:

  1. Vier Klavierstucke, Op. 12: No. 2 Berceuse
  2. Vier Klavierstucke, Op. 20: No. 1 Humoreske
  3. Variationen uber ein Rumanisches Volkslied, Op. 25: Tema – L’istesso tempo – Allegro grazioso – Lento ma non troppo – Allegro grazioso molto vivace
  4. Sonata dramatica, Op. 27, in D minor:

  5. I Allegro non troppo ma appassionato
  6. II Largo espressivo
  7. III Andante – Allegro con fuoco
  8. Kleine Slawische Suite, Op. 38:

  9. I Praludium
  10. II Mazurka
  11. III Kasatschok
  12. Suite No. 6, Op. 66: No. 4 Passacaglia

3 reviews for Emil FREY: Piano Music, Volume One

  1. :

    ‘Prime Toccata territory again. Where would we be without this most adventurous and cobweb-defying label? … The Berceuse is almost Medtnerian; indeed Frey spent some years in Russia. The Humoreske is strong on Brahmsian charm and polish. As for those Variations, they are faintly folk-like and have a sinuous Eastern European mystery. They are the most subtle work here: delicate yet not unconfident. Their delicacy is not to be mistaken for fragility and Frey ends the piece with a conventional yet effective rhetorical flourish. The half-hour Sonata Dramatica is the ‘big bill’ item. It’s in three movements which drip the nectar of grandiloquent romance. … Luisa Splett is an articulate advocate and more than rises to the challenge. She also supplies the English-only essay which will serve as more than an encyclopaedic entry for Frey. There’s nothing token about it as is invariably the case with Toccata: no short measures in timing or quality. The work that goes into these essays and the accomplishment should be recognised. … No great revelations but there is no doubting that this is a well constructed recital…’

    —Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International

  2. :

    ‘This is one of those series to which I eagerly await the next release. Whether in the charming smaller works or the larger, more dramatic ones, Frey at his best is a fantastic composer, one I hope to explore both as listener and pianist. Throughout this recital Splett proves herself an admirable guide to this often quirky, sometimes playful, sometimes serious music. Perhaps the greatest joy one has in listening to this music is that one never quite knows what to expect. But with Splett as one’s guide, one is sure to enjoy the ride.’

    —Scott Noriega, Fanfare Magazine, July 2016

  3. :

    ‘Recording of the year 2016

    This is prime Toccata territory again: late-Romantic, at times hinting at Medtner, at times strong on Brahmsian charm and polish, delicate yet not unconfident. The Sonata Dramatica drips the nectar of grandiloquence.’

    —Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International

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