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World Premiere Recording – Walter Niemann Piano Sonatas released on Naxos, for order click HERE.
‘Li’s stunning technique and subtle musicality serve the pieces splendidly. I eagerly await the next volume.’ © 2015 Fanfare
‘The young Chinese pianist…has us in her debt for introducing us to Niemann’s two piano sonatas. ‘© 2015 American Record Guide
“Bing Bing Li pianist plays with tremendous confidence and authority throughout the recording. Her technique is more than equal to Niemann’s hefty demands, and she plays with emotional maturity and interpretive freedom.” Myron Silberstein (Fanfare (magazine)
‘Niemann considered himself to be a representative of a kind of Nordic romantic style, oriented on Grieg and Sibelius, which he saw as an antidote to the music of Richard Strauss and Arnold Schönberg. But is it worth to be dug out? Yes it is! … Bing Bing Li shows all the qualities [of the compositions] and leaves us curious for more. After all Niemann has composed some 150 piano works.’ © 2015 Piano News
‘Born in Germany in 1876, Walter Niemann was a pianist, critic, teacher and composer, his preoccupation with the piano resulting in more than 150 solo works. Though he was regarded among the leading composers for the instrument in his younger years, the music establishment had deemed his style of composing outdated long before his death. Revisited you can see why he was originally so highly regarded, his First Sonata from 1919, and subtitled ‘Romantic’, owing so much to Brahms in its big and bold thematic material, with Chopin and Liszt hovering in the background. Niemann’s critics would also point to the fact his music often strayed into the salon, as you will find in the sonata’s attractive finale. The Second Sonata came two years later, and was subtitled ‘Nordic’ to reflect his admiration of composers from that country. Grieg is certainly there, and compared to the First, this sonata is more lightweight in texture, through Brahms remains his inspiration. The three short compositions are charming, the final track—the Fantasie-Mazurka—being four minutes of delight and beauty. The Chinese-born Bing Bing Li, now resident in the UK, is a very persuasive advocate, and I hope she discovers further works by Niemann, though more than anything else I want to hear more of her.’ © 2015 David’s Review Corner
For more reviews details go to Review
You are listening to two Etudes from Debussy, to hear more audio recordings please go to the Audio section of the site.