AWARD-WINNING PIANIST VÍKINGUR ÓLAFSSO RELEASES THIRD SOLO ALBUM – OUT TODAY!
AWARD-WINNING PIANIST VÍKINGUR ÓLAFSSO JUXTAPOSES TWO REVOLUTIONARY FRENCH COMPOSERS FOR HIS THIRD SOLO ALBUM ON DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON DEBUSSY · RAMEAU
TOMORROW (3PM CET MARCH 28), FOR WORLD PIANO DAY, ÓLAFSSON WILL PERFORM AND TALK ABOUT A SELECTION OF PIECES BY RAMEAU & DEBUSSY IN DG’S VIRTUAL CONCERT HALL ON FACEBOOK AND DG YOUTUBE
“For This Pianist, Every Album Is an Essay” - The New York Times, March 2020
“… the programming here is truly inspired … The highlights are many … he makes the most well-known pieces his own” - Gramophone, April 2020
27 MARCH 2020 (TORONTO, ON) - After the remarkable global success of his award-winning J.S. Bach recording, celebrated Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson returns with his third solo album. Debussy · Rameau, release today by Deutsche Grammophon/Universal Music Canada, the country's leading music company, juxtaposes pieces by two of the greatest French composers – both musical revolutionaries – exploring the contrasts and common ground between them. The innovative new recording follows Ólafsson’s extraordinary albums Philip Glass Piano Works and Johann Sebastian Bach.
New video for Rameau’s Les Tendres Plaintes now available HERE
“This album is set up as a dialogue between two of my favourite composers, Jean-Philippe Rameau and Claude Debussy. I see them as musical brothers, kindred spirits even though one was 180 years older than the other. They were musicians of the future, who loved to stir things up. They were two uniquely gifted keyboard composers, two progressive and fiercely original musical thinkers who could capture incredibly evocative images through sound. I want to show Rameau as a futurist and I want to emphasise Debussy’s deep roots in the French baroque – and in Rameau’s music in particular. The idea is that the listener almost forgets who is who, while listening to the album.” – Víkingur Ólafsson on Debussy · Rameau
Also released today is a video to accompany Rameau’s Les Tendres Plaintes, a gem from the Pièces de clavecin. This follows on from the videos for The Arts and the Hours – an interlude from Rameau’s opera Les Boréades transcribed by the artist for modern piano and captured in an atmospheric short film he made with director Magnús Leifsson – and Debussy’s La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin.
At 3pm (CET) tomorrow, as part of World Piano Day, Ólafsson will appear in DG’s virtual concert hall on Facebook and DG YouTube to talk about the journey of musical discovery involved in making the album and perform works by both composers. Viewers will be able to access the live stream via the hashtags #StayAtHome and #WorldPianoDay.
Víkingur Ólafsson: “As extraordinary innovators of both harmony and form, with a unique ear for colour and a keen sense of the theatrical, both Rameau and Debussy wrote music which engages more senses than just that of hearing.”
ABOUT VÍKINGUR ÓLAFSSON
Víkingur Ólafsson’s remarkable originality and powerful musical conviction have seen him, in just a few years, take the music world by storm to become one of the most sought-after artists of today. He made an unforgettable impact with the release of his two landmark albums, Philip Glass Piano Works and Johann Sebastian Bach, on Deutsche Grammophon, for whom he is an exclusive recording artist. Praised for revealing new possibilities within the music, Johann Sebastian Bach – featuring diverse original compositions and transcriptions, including Ólafsson’s own – deeply resonated with audiences and critics around the world. It appeared in multiple “best albums of the year” lists, was named one of the greatest ever Bach recordings in Gramophone, and won the 2019 Opus Klassik Piano Recital Album of the Year award as well as Album of the Year at the BBC Music Magazine Awards 2019. Ólafsson’s previous album, Philip Glass Piano Works, was an equal success and saw him named “Iceland’s Glenn Gould” by the New York Times. Ólafsson was named the 2019 Gramophone magazine Artist of the Year and Limelight magazine’s International Artist of the Year 2019. With a captivating ability to communicate both on and off-stage, Ólafsson’s coming seasons are marked by a series of high-profile artist residencies at some of the world’s top concert halls.
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