Piano Sonata no. 1, Sonatine and Miroirs (2011)

RACHMANINOFF, Ravel

Hannes Minnaar

Only a few works for piano, notably the Menuet antique (1895), his first composition for piano, the Pavane pour une infante défunte (1899) and Jeux d’eau (1902) preceded Miroirs (1905), the suite in five movements composed when Ravel was thirty years old, although he was also working on his unsurpassed Sonatine at the same time. Unlike Rachmaninoff, Ravel did not prepare himself for his larger and more complete piano works with a series of miniatures or Moments musicaux; Ravel’s music was fully formed from the beginning, although he had nonetheless made use of forms used by earlier composers in the Menuet antique and the Sonatine as well as in the Liszt-inspired Jeux d’eau. He shook himself free of classicism in Miroirs, seeing in them the possibility of developing a style of composition for piano from a primarily harmonic viewpoint. He said that he had composed Miroirs in order to break away from his Jeux d’eau, writing later in 1928 that “Miroirs was a collection of piano pieces that marked such a pronounced change in my harmonic development that it bewildered all of the musicians who until then had dan no difficulties with my style whatsover".

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Hannes Minnaar

www.hannesminnaar.com

In March of 2013, Hannes Minnaar made his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto under Herbert Blomstedt. This performance marked a new milestone in the career of the 28-year-old pianist. The invitation to perform in this concert was the result of the Third Prize won by Minnaar in 2010 at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. The following year, this prestigious award gained him a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, which made it possible, among other things, for him to produce his first CD. This CD, which included Rachmaninoff’s rarely played First Piano Sonata and Ravel’s ‘Miroirs’, was praised by reviewers and received an Edison award in the following year.

Minnaar’s talent had already attracted attention at the Amsterdam Conservatory, where he completed his studies summa cum laude under Jan Wijn. Soon afterwards he was invited to appear as a soloist with various orchestras. He worked with conductors including Marin Alsop, Frans Brüggen, and Edo de Waart. He appeared in recitals and was a guest at various festivals, many of them in France. For example, in 2013 Minnaar performed at the well-known piano festival in La Roque D’Anthéron, where all the most prominent members of the piano world make their appearance. Minnaar also performed at festivals in countries such as China and Bahrein. At the end of 2013 he will make his recital debut in Tokyo.

 

In 2008, when Minnaar made the decision to compete internationally, he took part in the Geneva Competition, where he was awarded a second prize. This was followed in 2010 by the Elisabeth Everts Prize and the award, as mentioned above, from the famous Brussels competition. It was particularly because of this latter award that the national and international spotlights began to focus on Minnaar. Reviewers praised the natural quality of his playing, his musical intelligence, feeling for structure, modesty, and his solid work ethic: “a winning combination”. “A young pianist of international standing has appeared,“ wrote Peter de Bruin, reviewer for the NRC, in 2010.

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Piano Sonata no. 1, Sonatine and Miroirs (2011)

RACHMANINOFF, Ravel

Hannes Minnaar

    International Piano Magazine

“...simply sensational...This is a definitive recording [ref Rachmaninov Piano Sonata No 1]...every note of the 40-minute piece is coloured and paced with anticipation and a keen eye for the structure of the whole narration. In this respect, Minnaar has few rivals...Minnaar has the makings of a great artist: a natural technique, musical intelligence, personality, modesty and a talent for hard work (so valued by Rachmaninov). In all, a most thrilling debut and an absolute must hear.”

Eric Schoones

    The Guardian

The sensational young Dutch pianist Hannes Minnaar, international prize-winner and recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust fellowship but not yet known here, displays his extravagant gifts in this debut disc of Rachmaninov's weighty Sonata No 1 and Ravel's Sonatine and Miroirs. Minnaar's virtuosity needs no comment: we expect that. His musical intelligence, sense of line and structure, delicacy, subtlety of texture and discipline set him apart. His Ravel is muscular and sparkling, his Rachmaninov glowing, meticulous and fervent. He is also a chamber musician, having played with the likes of Mischa Maisky and Janine Jansen as well as his own recently established Van Baerle Trio. Watch out for him. “This is indeed an astonishing debut... Minnaar is faultless in pacing the many climaxes of the outer movements to attain coherence of the whole, and the strongest sense of direction [ref Rachmaninov Piano Sonata No 1]...This is a disc which I will not be putting away for a long time yet.”

    Newartsomt

His debut album with Ravel and Rachmaninov (on Etcetera Records) found high acclaim in the national and international music press. “Gramophone” magazine selected him as the “One to watch” artist in the December 2011 edition. The album was awarded a Dutch Edison Prize for “The Debut” in 2012. Spring 2012, his Van Baerle Trio released an album with Saint-Saëns, Loevendie and Ravel. This album was praised in the national and international press as well, and received the Edison Debut Prize in 2013.

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    Platenzaak

In 2010 leverde pianist Hannes Minnaar een unieke prestatie door derde te worden tijdens de prestigieuze Koningin Elizabeth-wedstrijd in België, de hoogste onderscheiding ooit door een Nederlandse pianist behaald.“Een meester in glasheldere articulatie en fijnzinnigheid”, noemde de Belgische Standaard hem. Het zijn kwaliteiten die uitstekend van pas komen op dit debuutalbum. De ‘Eerste Sonate’ van Rachmaninov wordt zelden opgenomen en vormt met zijn weerbarstig karakter en technische moeilijkheidsgraad een grote uitdaging. Een prachtig contrast met het genuanceerde en kleurrijke palet van de ‘Miroirs’ van Ravel.

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    The Musicweb

Only a few works for piano, notably the Menuet antique (1895), his first composition for piano, the Pavane pour une infante défunte (1899) and Jeux d’eau (1902) preceded Miroirs (1905), the suite in five movements composed when Ravel was thirty years old, although he was also working on his unsurpassed Sonatine at the same time. Unlike Rachmaninoff, Ravel did not prepare himself for his larger and more complete piano works with a series of miniatures or Moments musicaux; Ravel’s music was fully formed from the beginning, although he had nonetheless made use of forms used by earlier composers in the Menuet antique and the Sonatine as well as in the Liszt-inspired Jeux d’eau. He shook himself free of classicism in Miroirs, seeing in them the possibility of developing a style of composition for piano from a primarily harmonic viewpoint. He said that he had composed Miroirs in order to break away from his Jeux d’eau, writing later in 1928 that “Miroirs was a collection of piano pieces that marked such a pronounced change in my harmonic development that it bewildered all of the musicians who until then ha

[read full review]

Piano Sonata no. 1, Sonatine and Miroirs (2011)

RACHMANINOFF, Ravel

Hannes Minnaar

Digital Converters: dCS DSD A/D
Producer: Tom Peeters
Recording Engineer: Tom Peeters
Recording location: Westvest, Schiedam Holland
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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KTC1432: Piano Sonata no. 1, Sonatine and Miroirs
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Tracks.
1.
Piano Sonata no. 1 Allegro moderato
RACHMANINOFF
00:13:44   N/A
2.
Piano Sonata no. 1 Lento
RACHMANINOFF
00:09:14   N/A
3.
Piano Sonata no. 1 Allegro molto
RACHMANINOFF
00:14:43   N/A
4.
Sonatine Modere
Ravel
00:04:14   N/A
5.
Sonatine Mouvement de menuet
Ravel
00:03:01   N/A
6.
Sonatine Anime
Ravel
00:03:58   N/A
7.
Sonatine Noctuelles
Ravel
00:05:03   N/A
8.
Miroirs Oiseaux tristes
Ravel
00:03:58   N/A
9.
Miroirs Une barque sur l'ocean
Ravel
00:07:54   N/A
10.
Miroirs Alborada del gracioso
Ravel
00:07:01   N/A
11.
Miroirs La vallee des cloches
Ravel
00:05:42   N/A

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