Artist: Bruce Levingston
Composers: Arvo Pärt, Erik Satie, Augusta Gross, Franz Schubert, Frederic Chopin, William Bolcom
Format: 1 CD
The final album in Bruce Levingston’s three-part series, Still Sound contains intimate works featuring world-premiere recordings of Pulitzer Prize-winner William Bolcom’s “New York Lights” written for Bruce Levingston, and Augusta Gross’ new works inspired by Satie and Pärt.
Reflecting on this album, Levingston writes, “As I first listened to this collection of intimate, gentle music, I kept thinking how much it evokes a feeling of timelessness and stillness. From the minimal sounds of Arvo Pärt and Erik Satie to the reflective pieces of Augusta Gross and William Bolcom, each work, their harmonic and rhythmic movement notwithstanding, suggests a kind of spiritual stasis. Even the Romantic works of Schubert and Chopin, with their moments of surging emotion, possess magical, hypnotic qualities that lull the listener into a state of calm. The consistent impression of tranquility and serenity in these beautiful works led me to call this album Still Sound.”
Pianist Bruce Levingston is one of the country’s leading figures in contemporary classical music. He regularly appears in some of the world’s most prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Royal Opera House of London. Many of today’s most important composers have written music for him and his performances of their works have won notable critical acclaim. The New York Times has praised his “mastery of color and nuance” and The New Yorker has called him “a force for new music.”
Levingston’s recordings have also garnered numerous accolades. His album Heavy Sleep was named one of the “Best Classical Recordings of the Year” by The New York Times. Gramophone has called his playing “masterly” and praised his “compelling, colourful pianism.” The American Record Guide called Levingston “a pianist’s pianist.”
Levingston has collaborated with some of the most gifted artists of our time including composer Philip Glass, prima ballerina assoluta Alessandra Ferri, dancer Herman Cornejo, actor Ethan Hawke, composer/singer Lisa Bielawa, authors Michael Cunningham and George Plimpton, Colin Jacobsen and Eric Jacobsen and the Brooklyn Rider, and choreographers Jorma Elo and Russell Maliphant. He has also worked with numerous cultural institutions involving art, dance, film and music including American Ballet Theatre, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, Rooftop Films, SFMoMA, Rooftop Films, Alliance Française/ French Institute, Joyce Theater, the Aspen Institute and Aspen Music Festival.
Levingston is founder and artistic director of the music foundation Premiere Commission, Inc., which has commissioned and premiered over sixty new works, and is the author of Bright Fields: The Mastery of Marie Hull, the comprehensive biography and survey of the work of the noted Southern painter.
Levingston’s first CD for Sono Luminus, Heart Shadow (DSL-92137), was comprised of three major piano works inspired by literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It received high critical acclaim and was named “Album of the Week” by New York City’s WQXR. Zachery Lewis of The Cleveland Pain Dealer called Levingston’s account of Schumann’s “Kreisleriana” “vivid and richly expressive, a notable reading” and Levingston’s world premiere recording of Bielawa and Wuorinen “a gripping, dynamic performance”. The second album in this triptych, Night Break (DSL-92144), contains Mr. Levingston’s signature creative programming with elegant and poetic interpretations of nocturnes and waltzes by Liszt, Brahms and Wolfgang Rihm. In addition, he has recorded Liszt’s magnificent, impressionistic “Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este”, a tour de force of color and chiaroscuro in sound.
1. Für Alina — Arvo Pärt
2. Variationen zur gesundung von Arinuschka — Arvo Pärt
3. Gymnopédie No. 2 — Erik Satie
4. Venturing Forth Anew 1 — Augusta Gross
5. Venturing Forth Anew 2 — Augusta Gross
6. Impromptu in A-flat major, Op. 90, No. 4— Franz Schubert
7. Nocturne in B-flat minor, Op. 9, no. 1 — Frederic Chopin
8. New York Lights — William Bolcom
9. Gnossienne No. 2 — Erik Satie
10. Dance of the Spirits — Augusta Gross
11. Changes — Augusta Gross
12. Reflections on Air — Augusta Gross
13. Gymnopédie No. 3 — Erik Satie
Total time: 56:21
Release date: February 2012