Die Wahlverwandtschaften - Elective Affinities
Francis Poulenc - Robert Schumann - Ludwig van Beethoven - Franz Liszt - Maurice Ravel - George Gershwin - Frédéric Chopin - Leopold Godowsky - Pancho Vladigerov

Die Wahlverwandtschaften - Elective Affinities

Cyprien Katsaris

Label: Piano 21
Format: CD
Barcode: 3760051450618
Catalog number: P21 055
Releasedate: 30-09-16
Nachdem ich mehr als zwanzig Jahre lang Aufnahmen für die internationale Schallplattenindustrie gemacht hatte, beschloss ich, mein eigenes Label zu gründen. PIANO 21 verdankt seinen Namen der Tatsache, dass es im Januar 2001, also kurz nach Anbruch des 21. Jahrhunderts, das Licht der Welt erblickte. Es ist für meine eigenen Einspielungen – manche davon live – gedacht, bei denen es sich teils um Neuaufnahmen, teils um Aufnahmen aus Privat- und Rundfunkarchiven aus verschiedenen Ländern, aber auch um Neuauflagen handelt. PIANO 21 verdankt seine Existenz einer doppelten Leidenschaft – für das klassische Repertoire, aber auch für die Entdeckung selten gespielter und zu wenig bekannter Werke; ich lade Sie ein, diese Leidenschaft mit mir zu teilen. 
- A new, adventurous musical trip with and by Cyprien Katsaris.
The title of Elective Affinities (Kindred by Choice), Goethe’s celebrated novel, harks back to the science of chemistry in the early days of the19th Century. It refers to the phenomenon that can result when two chemical compounds come into contact. If the affinity is strong enough, elements may detach themselves from either compound, free to combine anew with each other.
The programme for this CD attempts something similar, taking pieces out of context and juxtaposing them in twos, threes or fours with other compositions from different eras and cultural backgrounds. At stake is the possibility of unveiling new, underlying affinities having to do with the inspirational sources, musical genres, style or sentiments expressed in these pieces. Thus we find Schumann rubbing shoulders with Poulenc, Ravel and Jianzhong Wang revisiting the Far East, Liszt and Johann Strauss the Younger delving into the particular in quest of the universal. As the cherry on the cake, Katsaris pays homage to Chopin and Rachmaninov in two of his own compositions... which in turn offer resonances of two other composer-pianists, Tchaikovsky and Godowsky!

Cyprien Katsaris, the French-Cypriot pianist and composer, was born on May 5th 1951 in Marseilles. He first began to play the piano at the age of four, in Cameroon where he spent his childhood. His first teacher was Marie-Gabrielle Louwerse.

A graduate of the Paris Conservatoire where he studied piano with Aline van Barentzen and Monique de la Bruchollerie (piano First Prize, 1969), as well as chamber music with René Leroy and Jean Hubeau (First Prize, 1970), 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. He was also awarded the Albert Roussel Foundation Prize (Paris 1970) and the Alex de Vries Foundation Prize (Antwerp 1972).

He gave his first public concert in Paris, at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées on 8 May 1966, as a “Knight” of the youth competition “The Kingdom of Music”; he performed the Hungarian Fantasy by Franz Liszt, with the Orchestre Symphonique d’Ile-de-France conducted by René-Pierre Chouteau.