Anyssa Neumann

Anyssa Neumann: Bach Beethoven Messiaen Prokofiev

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Artist: Anyssa Neumann

Artist: Anyssa Neumann
Title: Bach Beethoven Messiaen Prokofiev

Just 25 years old when this disc was recorded, American pianist Anyssa Neumann has been praised for the "clarity, charm, and equipoise" of her elegantly-crafted performances, which span solo and collaborative repertoire from the Baroque to the 21st century. Noted for her 'deep connection to the Bach repertoire,' she has presented a number of solo Bach recitals in the United States and Canada and continues to concertize as soloist and chamber musician in North America and Europe. Anyssa also performs as recital partner with Grammy Award-winning cellist Sara Sant'Ambrogio of the Eroica Trio. Their 2004 studio recording, Dreaming, has been broadcast on radio stations throughout the United States, and the duo has also been heard on NPR's Performance Today and Sirius Satellite Radio. She recently gave a recital tour of England with soprano Rena Harms, with whom she has played since 2004, and has collaborated with composer Joseph Trapanese, trumpeter Jens Lindemann, and the New York Theatre Ballet. She has also appeared as guest pianist with the Sheba Ensemble, an all-female chamber group specializing in traditional Jewish music infused with jazz, classical music, and bossa nova. Having studied at the Manhattan School of Music, Oxford University, Université de Montréal, and in Berlin, Germany, Anyssa holds degrees in both performance and musicology and is currently a PhD candidate at King's College London, where she is a recipient of the King's Overseas Research Studentship. Her article "Ideas of North: Glenn Gould and the Aesthetic of the Sublime" was published in the December 2011 issue of voiceXchange, a journal from the University of Chicago. She also teaches music history at Oxford University, writes liner notes for Naxos International Records, and has held two Winter Creative Music Residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada. This disc was featured on David Dubal's radio program, The Piano Matters, on WWFM New York and WFMT Chicago. CD REVIEWS: "A pianist all the way down the line. Everything was exactly right...a beautiful performance." - David Dubal, pianist, author, teacher, and host of The Piano Matters, WWFM New York & WFMT Chicago "Both subtle and lyrical...poetic and complex." - La Scena Musicale (Montréal) The Holland Times (March 2011) by Jonathan Gill What does classical music have to say to us? Everything, sometimes, especially when Anyssa Neumann, a young pianist who has made her mark in the concert halls of both North America and Europe, sits down at the keyboard. It is an opinion confirmed by her debut solo recording, which moves between old and modern material with breathtaking ease and fluency. When Bach published his Fourth Partita in 1728, keyboards were becoming common in middle-class German homes, but Bach, himself a fearsome instrumentalist, wanted to limit these works to accomplished musicians, not social-climbing housewives. Neumann's nuanced treatment of this monument of keyboard literature manages to integrate it's various antecedents and influences, in no small part due to her sound, which has a pearly quality that contrasts gloriously with her rigorous attack. Beethoven's Sonata 31 in A-flat Major, Opus 110, from 1821, was delivered to the publisher more than a year after it was due and the composer's struggle to make it whole shows. Neumann is certainly up to the minor-key comedy of the second movement, which makes use of two folk songs-"I'm a Slob, You're a Slob" and "Our Cat's Had Kittens," which Beethoven had arranged some time earlier in payment for postage stamps. The rest of Neumann's program ascends to peaks that are no less beautiful and distinctive. La Colombe is perhaps the best-known example of Messiaen's innovative effort to flesh out the harmonic possibilities of classic serialism: at the very end of the piece, the upper harmonics of a single tone (in this case an E) are used to build the concluding chord. The effect is both ghostly and charming. Neumann manages to redeem Prokofiev's Romeo Bids Juliet Farewell from it's status as a kitsch classic, transforming it from a teen lament into a Platonic imperative. If the question is not so much what classical music has to say to us as what we have to say to classical music, we would do well to listen well to Neumann.

1.1 Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828: I. Ouverture
1.2 Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828: II. Allemande
1.3 Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828: III. Courante
1.4 Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828: IV. Aria
1.5 Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828: V. Sarabande
1.6 Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828: VI. Menuet
1.7 Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828: VII. Gigue
1.8 Prelude and Fugue in E Major, WTC II, BWV 878: I. Prelude
1.9 Prelude and Fugue in E Major, WTC II, BWV 878: II. Fugue
1.10 Sonata No. 31 in A-Flat Major, Op. 110: I. Moderato Cantabile Molto Espressivo
1.11 Sonata No. 31 in A-Flat Major, Op. 110: II. Allegro Molto
1.12 Sonata No. 31 in A-Flat Major, Op. 110: III. Adagio Ma Non Troppo
1.13 Sonata No. 31 in A-Flat Major, Op. 110: IV. Fuga - Allegro Ma Non Troppo
1.14 La Colombe
1.15 Romeo Bids Juliet Farewell, Op. 75 No. 10

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