Reicha Rediscovered, Volume 1 – Harmonie; Grande Sonate; Capriccio; Sonata on a Theme of Mozart; Fantaisie sur un seul accord; Étude, Op 97 No 1

Reviewed on Mon 02 Oct, 2017

Beautifully recorded – the sound warm and clear – this is an ear-opening compendium that reveals Reicha as a composer who makes the piano sing.

Think you know all there is to know about Antoine Reicha (1770-1836) from his wind music and friendships with Haydn and Beethoven? Think again. This first volume in a projected series of five devoted to his piano music makes considerable claims for his serious re-appraisal. Reicha is blessed to find so ardent and poetic a champion as Ivan Ilić, one of the most intelligently musical pianists at work today. Beautifully recorded – the sound warm and clear – this is an ear-opening compendium that reveals Reicha as a composer who makes the piano sing. Every piece is a discovery: the delightful cascading ripples and pointed stillness of Harmonie; the quixotic playfulness of the Fantaisie on an E major chord; the wonderfully inventive Sonata on a Theme of Mozart; the delicacy and deliberateness of the miniature, Bachian Op 97 No 1 Étude. Centre stage is the imposing Grand Sonate, with Ilić altogether blissful in the sublime Adagio. A must for pianophiles, the next volume is eagerly awaited.
–Michael Quinn