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RAFF, J.: Piano Works, Vol. 2 (Tra Nguyen)

RAFF, J.: Piano Works, Vol. 2 (Tra Nguyen)

The Classical Shop
release date: March 2013

Originally recorded in 2012


Tra Nguyen



Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK

Record Label
Grand Piano




Total Time - 63:07
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RAFF, J.: Piano Works, Vol. 2 (Tra Nguyen)

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Fantasie-Sonate, Op. 168

1 I. Allegro patetico 6:47
2 II. Largo 5:56
3 III. Allegro molto 4:42

Variationen uber ein Originalthema, Op. 179

4 Andante 1:02
5 Thema 0:40
6 Variation 1: L'istesso tempo 0:39
7 Variation 2: L'istesso tempo 0:34
8 Variation 3: Allegro assai 0:24
9 Variation 4: L'istesso tempo 0:29
10 Variation 5: Meno mosso 0:49
11 Variation 6: L'istesso tempo 0:45
12 Variation 7: L'istesso tempo 0:47
13 Variation 8: Tranquillo 1:01
14 Variation 9: L'istesso tempo 0:55
15 Variation 10: Veloce leggiero 0:47
16 Variation 11: L'istesso tempo 1:08
17 Variation 12: Piu mosso 1:15
18 Variation 13: Moderato 0:55
19 Variation 14: Moderato 1:42
20 Variation 15: Allegro molto 0:51
21 Variation 16: L'istesso tempo 0:58
22 Variation 17: L'istesso tempo 0:52
23 Variation 18: Adagio 2:57
24 Variation 19: Doppio movimento 1:41
25 Variation 20: Doppio movimento 1:28
26 Finale: Moderato maestoso 4:00

4 Pieces, Op. 196

27 No. 1. Im Schilf 5:07
28 No. 2. Berceuse 3:20
29 No. 3. Novelette 4:51
30 No. 4. Impromptu 5:45
 Tra Nguyen Soloist

Though an esteemed symphonist, Raff wrote most extensively for the piano and the three works here come from the very pinnacle of his career. The 1871 Fantasie-Sonate is a fascinating and richly imaginative hybrid, whilst the Variations on an Original Theme is marked by fertility of invention. The Four Piano Pieces exemplify Raff’s gift for lyricism and characterisation.

 "Hardly anyone else is playing Raff these days, and his music is definitely worth exploring. Logic dictates, then, that you cannot go wrong acquiring one or two discs in this respectable series..." 

Brent Auerbach - American Record Guide - November 2012

 RAFF, J.: Piano Works, Vol. 1 (Tra Nguyen) GP602

RAFF, J.: Piano Works, Vol. 2 (Tra Nguyen) GP612
"...[Nguyen] gives powerfully persuasive performances of the ... Drei Klavier-Soli, Op 74: lasting nearly half an hour, its Ballade, Scherzo and ‘Metamorphosen’ ...are well worth exploring. The Fantaisie in B major which follows is a real discovery in two senses: the manuscript turned up in 2010 buried among some unrelated Liszt organ works; and its beautifully melodic material (another Raff characteristic), constantly transformed by Chopinesque and Lisztian figurations, is dispatched with an assured touch and subtle colouring by Nguyen. Vol 2 is arguably even more consistently interesting, beginning with the three thematically linked movements of the Fantaisie-Sonate of 1871, dedicated to Saint-Saëns and surely worth a place in the regular concert repertoire. Tra Nguyen makes the best possible case for all these works and has been well recorded on a splendidly voiced Steinway at Wyastone." 
Jeremy Nicholas - Gramophone magazine - October 2012

"... this is a long way from being a ‘complete works’ series, but it does give a taster of the considerable genius of a composer hounded by critics fixated on equating prolific production with mediocrity and distracted by the many potboilers and pretty salon pieces he wrote to earn a living ...this CD is every bit as grand as the first. Once again, Nguyen proves, throughout her recital, not only equal to the technical demands of the intellectual intrigues that lurk everywhere in Raff’s music, but also that she has an intuitive sense of expression and phrasing that brings to life the substantial emotional content of symbols on staves, thus rendering this survey the gold standard by which future performers of Raff will be judged."
Byzantion - - October 2012

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