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Samson François plays
Mendelssohn | Chopin | Debussy | Prokofiev
1 CD | 57min | Nr. SWR19060CD
CD 1: » Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Lied ohne Worte b minor op. 67 No. 5 (Spinnerlied) – Moderato
» Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Lied ohne Worte A major op. 62 No. 6 (Frühlingslied) – Andante grazioso
» Frédéric Chopin: Nocturne f minor op. 55 No. 1
» Frédéric Chopin: Piano Sonata No. 2 b flat minor op. 35 (mit dem Trauermarsch)
» Claude Debussy: La danse de Puck (from: 12 Préludes (Livre I)) – Capricieux et léger
» Claude Debussy: La cathédrale engloutie (from: 12 Préludes (Livre I)) – Profondément calme
» Claude Debussy: Feux d'artifice (from: Préludes (Livre II)) – Modérément animé
» Sergej Prokofjew: KlavierSonata No. 7 major op. 83

This album offers a rare opportunity to experience the extraordinary pianist Samson François in a vibrant live recording. His extravagant, winning style is reflected in his unique interpretation of sonatas by Chopin and Prokofiev, alongside more lyrical works by Mendelssohn and Chopin.

Eccentric and flamboyant, Samson François was considered an enfant terrible; the manner in which he conducted his life was rather provocative and self-centred. François led an unsettled existence, characterised on the one hand by remarkable success in competitions and legendary performances, and a penchant for alcohol, cigarettes and nights of bingeing on the other.

He was initially promoted by Pietro Mascagni, who arranged for Yvonne Lefébure to be his teacher. Later, François attended piano classes with Alfred Cortot and Nadia Boulanger, legendary teachers of the Paris music scene. After embarking on an international career as as soloist, Samson François focused his artistic goals on the great works of the Romantic period (Liszt, Schumann, Chopin and others); on standard works by the impressionists (Debussy, Ravel); and on classical contemporary music by Béla Bartók, Sergei Prokofiev and Paul Hindemith.

François later went on to make studio recordings of most the works on this release. This album offers a rare opportunity to experience this extraordinary pianist within the vibrancy of a live recording.

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