Works for Clarinet & Piano
Johannes Brahms - Bernhard Henrik Crusell - Camille Saint-Saëns

Works for Clarinet & Piano

Cyprien Katsaris / Katrin Hagen

Label: Piano 21
Format: CD
Barcode: 3760051450595
Catalog number: P21 053
Releasedate: 14-08-15
- in this recording, Cyprien Katsaris presents the young German-Luxembourgish clarinettist Katrin Hagen.

- interesting combination of Romantic clarinet & piano works: Brahms, Saint-Saëns and Crusell.
In this recording, Cyprien Katsaris presents the young German-Luxembourgish clarinettist Katrin Hagen.
In 1891, Johannes Brahms was so moved, hearing the clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld in Meiningen playing the Mozart and Weber concertos, that he decided to compose a trio and a quintet with strings for this instrument, followed in 1894 by his two Sonatas for Clarinet (or Viola) and Piano, op. 120; they were to be his last instrumental works. Brahms had truly been beguiled by the clarinet, and it may come as no surprise to learn that he composed these four pieces for “Fräulein Klarinette”. This CD features the lyrical yet intimate Sonata in F minor, op. 120 no. 1.
Just like Brahms in the evening of his life, Camille Saint-Saëns wrote his Sonata for Clarinet, op. 167 just a few months prior to his death. His writing for the piano had become spare for some years past with the consequence that it is not any longer virtuoso. This Sonata, dedicated to Auguste Périer, professor at the Conservatoire and soloist in the Opéra Comique Orchestra, makes wondrous use of every last resource of the clarinet.
A virtuoso musician who helped popularise the works of Mozart and Beethoven, the Finnish clarinettist Bernhard Henrik Crusell composed a host of chamber works, chiefly for the clarinet. His seven concertante works include three clarinet concertos. Concerto no. 3 in B flat major, op. 11 (1807?) starts with two movements similar in style to Weber and Mozart, while the third movement Alla Polacca is a distinct nod towards the finale Rondo alla Polacca of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto.
Cyprien Katsaris, the French-Cypriot pianist and composer, was born in Marseilles in 1951. He first began to play the piano in Cameroon where he spent his childhood, at the age of four, with Marie-Gabrielle Louwerse.
A graduate of the Paris Conservatoire where he studied piano with Aline van Barentzen, Monique de la Bruchollerie, and chamber music with René Leroy and Jean Hubeau, he won the International Young Interpreters Rostrum-UNESCO (Bratislava 1977), the First Prize in the International Cziffra Competition (Versailles 1974) and he was the only western-European prize-winner at the 1972 Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Competition.
His major international career includes performances with the world’s greatest orchestras: Berlin Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Dresden, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Philharmonia (London), NHK Symphony Orchestra (Tokyo), Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Beijing Symphony Orchestra ... He has collaborated with conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Masur, Myung Whun Chung, Sir Neville Marriner, Sir Simon Rattle, Antal Doráti, Mstislav Rostropovich, Charles Dutoit, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Christoph von Dohnányi … and Karl Münchinger, who on the festive occasion of his farewell concert in 1986, with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, personally invited Mr. Katsaris to perform the Haydn D major Concerto.
Mr. Katsaris has recorded extensively for Teldec (Grand Prix du Disque Frédéric Chopin, Warsaw 1985; Grand Prix du Disque Franz Liszt, Budapest 1984 and 1989; British Music Retailers Association’s Award 1986; Record of the Year 1984, Germany, for the 9th Symphony of Beethoven/Liszt), Sony Classical, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, BMG/RCA, Decca, Pavane, and now on his own label, PIANO 21.
In addition to the standard repertory, such as the complete Concertos by Mozart, recorded live and performed in Salzburg and Vienna with Yoon K. Lee and the Salzburger Kammerphilharmonie, he has revived long lost works such as the Liszt/Tchaikovsky’s Concerto in the Hungarian style which he has recorded with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
In 1992, the Japanese NHK TV produced with Cyprien Katsaris a thirteen-program series on Frédéric Chopin which included masterclasses and his own performance. On 17 October 1999, the New York concertgoers offered Mr. Katsaris a standing ovation in Carnegie Hall for his recital dedicated to Frédéric Chopin, performed on the day of his 150th death Anniversary. On 27 January 2006, the day of the 250th Anniversary of Mozart’s birth, he was the soloist at the inaugural concert of the Mozart Orchestra Mannheim founded and conducted by Thomas Fey. In March 2006 Cyprien Katsaris was the first pianist ever to give masterclasses in Franz Liszt’s house in Weimar since Liszt, who taught there for the very last time in 1886, the year of his death. In August 2008, he was invited to give two concerts on the occasion of the Beijing Olympic Games at the National Center for the Performing Arts. In addition to the world premier of a concerto for ten pianos and orchestra – China Jubilee – by the composer Cui Shiguang, he improvised on an ancient Greek melody, and on, inter alia, Chinese melodies, in tribute to the universality of the Olympic Games. On 10 July 2014 Cyprien Katsaris performed in the first concert at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.
He has been a member of the jury of the following International Competitions: Chopin (Warsaw 1990), Liszt (Utrecht 1996), Vendôme Prize (Paris 2000), Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud – Ville de Paris (2001), Beethoven (Bonn 2005), Giorgos Thymis (Thessaloniki 2011) and Scriabin (Moscow 2012). In addition he was appointed Artistic Director of the Echternach International Festival (Luxembourg) from 1977 to 2007.
Cyprien Katsaris is “Artist of UNESCO for Peace” (1997), “Commandeur de l’Ordre de Mérite du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg” (2009) and “Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters” (France 2000). He also received the “Médaille Vermeil de la Ville de Paris” (2001) and the “Nemitsas Prize” (Cyprus, 2011). He is a member of ADAP, the Association of Artists for Peace, and Honorary President of “Lisztomanias International”.

Born in Trier (Germany) in 1991, the German/Luxembourgish clarinetist Katrin Hagen had her first lessons on her instrument at the age of seven. She was several times prize-winner of the “Jugend musiziert” Competition in the Federal Republic of Germany. At the “European Competition for Young Soloists” in Luxembourg in 2006 she was graded “excellent”. Katrin Hagen studied at the Saar University of Music in Saarbrücken, and graduated as Bachelor of Music (“Artistic Pedagogical Profile”) in 2014. Her main subject was clarinet under Matthias Höfer. She is currently studying for a second Bachelor of Music degree, majoring in Elementary Music Pedagogics under Prof. Dr. Michael Dartsch and Prof. Ulrike Tiedemann, and also a Master of Music degree in Contemporary Music under Prof. Stefan Litwin. Since 2011 Katrin Hagen has been teaching clarinet at the Municipal Music School in Echternach, Luxembourg.