celestial harmonies

 

sándor falvai

sándor falvai robert schumann: phantasie op.17 franz liszt: grande sonate pour le pianoforte s. 178 Recorded November 25–27, 2015 at Phoenix Studio, Diósd, Hungary Recording Supervision: Ibolya Tóth Recording Engineer: János Bohus Digital editing: Adám Boros Hamburg Steinway D Acknowledgement: Katalin Falvai celestial harmonies 13312-2 Eine Eckart Rahn Produktion

Sándor Falvai was born in Ózd, Hungary, in 1949. He studied at the Franz Liszt Academy

of Music in Budapest, with Professor Mihály Bächer, and then at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory

in Moscow, under the guidance of Victor Merzsanov and Margareta Fjodorova. After returning to Hungary, his international career began.

     Falvai has presented recitals in almost all of the great concert halls of Europe (including in

Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Madrid, Milan, Rome, Prague, Helsinki, Thessaloniki and Munich); in

New York’s Carnegie Hall; in Tokyo, Morocco, Tunisia, and Canada; and has appeared as a

soloist with many orchestras under conductors including Kobajashi Kenichiro, Mariss Jansons, Tamás Vásáry, Milan Horvath, Günter Herbig, János Ferencsik, and Kazuo Yamada.

     A keen chamber musician, he has performed with many fine ensembles and associate artists,

including János Starker, the Bartók String Quartet, and Dénes Kovács.

     With more than 30 records and CDs to his name, his recorded output includes traditional

solo repertoire such as the Concertos, Sonatas, Mazurkas, Polonaises, Nocturnes and Valses

of Chopin; the Sonatas of Haydn; Concertos of Brahms; Sonatas of Schumann; and the Impromptus of Schubert etc.; along with chamber music by Brahms with the Bartók String Quartet; a two-piano version of Scriabin’s Symphony № 3 (Le Divin Poème); and chamber works by Arvo Pärt and Kurt Atterberg.

     Falvai was appointed as a Professor of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in 1972, and was

Director of the same institution from 1997 until 2004. His many awards and honours include the

Hungarian Liszt prize, the title of Honorated Artist, the title Doctor Honoris Causa, and the Order of the Rising Sun from the Japanese Emperor.

     Sándor Falvai maintains a busy international career. From 2000 he has been guest

Professor of the Nagoya University of Arts, and has given recitals and masterclasses frequently

in several cities of Japan (including Tokyo, Nagoya, Gifu, and Sapporo). He has also been a guest Professor at the Texas Christian University. Falvai is frequently on the juries of International Piano Competitions, and has thrice been the President of the Jury of the Franz Liszt International Piano Competition in Budapest. He is a sought-after teacher of master classes across Europe.

Sometimes, things take some time…above, Sándor Falvai's picture as it appeared on one of his early recordings, Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15, on the Hungarian Hungaroton label recorded in 1978.  Inspired by the review of Falvai's debut concert at Carnegie Hall in the same year (left), I bought the LP which still graces my collection. How-ever, it took  more than thirty-five years until I could finally connect with Falvai in Budapest.

    A new recording is planned for later in 2016 of that same work, pairing Falvai as the soloist with the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Falvai's fellow pianist Zoltán Kocsis who is now the chief conductor and music director of the orchestra.

    For now, the Schumann-Phantasie and the Liszt-Sonata represent Falvai's solo pianism at its very best.

 

March 2016

Eckart Rahn

p.o. box 30122 tucson, arizona 85751 +1 520 326 4400 fax +1 520 326 3333