Just my two hands. And the piano – my most loyal companion over the years. Piano Circle Songs was crafted from a new perspective, from a new shore that fatherhood washed me upon. Observations of my children's behavior reminded me of circles, with their constant to-and-fro, confusing yet inspirational. The circle – that simple yet most perfect geometric form – without turning left or right, you find yourself at the beginning again. Infinite axes of symmetry. Like seasons, the eternal cycle of life.
I'm very grateful that Jason "Chilly Gonzales" Beck joined me on a few of these songs, and also contributed a song of his own. Together we found a common musical space which is recorded here.
As is the case for all records, it is a team effort. I want to thank from the bottom of my heart all the people involved.
This album is dedicated to the memory of Eliseo Baches.
Thank you for listening.
|Photo by Marie Staggat|
Francesco Tristano explores the simple beauty of melodies on his first album entirely devoted to his own piano compositions.
With the release of his new album, acclaimed pianist Francesco Tristano returns to his first passion with a selection of beautiful, newly composed works for solo piano. After several years of working with beat-driven electronic music, Piano Circle Songs explores the gentler, more innocent side of his creative personality with simple, poignant melodies being the key creative impetus:
"I love the beats, I love the constant impulse. The music on Piano Circle Songs is the opposite. It's very intimate, a melodic way of composing that has been largely inspired by the fact I had children. They made me explore a gentler phase of what I could do at the piano, in terms of writing." — Francesco Tristiano
This new album also features award-winning Canadian pianist and songwriter Chilly Gonzales on four of the tracks, of which Gonzales composed "Tryst" himself for the album.
The album theme of "circle" reflects the cyclical nature of the pieces themselves; many of the works follow ABA form or extended variations of this. Tristano also drew inspiration from a chance conversation with Chilly Gonzales and reflections on the behavior of his children. It was important for Tristano to capture the intimacy of the music in both the recording and the postproduction phases. By purposefully placing mics close to the instrument, he wants the listener to experience the sensation of having "their ear inside the piano".
Tristano will perform the music from the album in concert this autumn in Berlin, Munich, London and Paris.
Release date: 8 September 2017.
There are recital and orchestral (chamber and symphonic) versions of this project and upcoming highlights include: Rheingau Musik Festival, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Funkhaus Berlin, Orchestre National de Lille, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg, Cité de la Musique and La Seine Musicale Paris.
|Photo by Aymeric Giraudel|
Francesco Tristano (b. 1981)
♪ Piano Circle Songs (2017)
1. Circle Song
2. This Too Shall Go
3. Grey Light
5. All I Have
6. Triangle Song
8. Circle Song II
10. Circle Song III
11. Nuria's Lament
12. La Franciscana
13. Monologue for Two
15. Third Haiku
Francesco Tristano, piano
Chilly Gonzales, piano (tracks 6, 13-15)
All tracks composed by Francesco Tristano, except Tracks 13 & 15 composed by Francesco Tristano and Jason "Chilly Gonzales" Beck, and Track 14 by Jason "Chilly Gonzales" Beck.
Francesco Tristano plays a Yamaha CFX piano and Chilly Gonzales plays a Bösendorfer piano.
Recording: Hinterland Studios Paris, Philharmonie Luxembourg, November 2016 - April 2017
Sony Classical 2017
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|Photo by Marie Staggat|
Francesco Tristano leads a multifaceted career as a pianist and composer, delving into classical and jazz works, as well as other popular and avant-garde styles of music. Yet, he is often associated with Baroque music, particularly compositions by J.S. Bach. Indeed, he has recorded all the Bach keyboard concertos and other Bach works. But he has performed much other Baroque fare by such composers as Buxtehude, Frescobaldi, and Orlando Gibbons, and he arranged Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, for piano and strings. But Tristano is equally at home in contemporary and avant-garde music, regularly performing works by Berio, Cage, and himself. Tristano's repertory also takes in works by Haydn, Ravel, Prokofiev, and Stravinsky. He has written both classical and jazz works and has collaborated in many of his compositions with pianist/composer Rami Khalife. He often performs with Khalife, too, as well as drummer Aymeric Westrich, who together form the trio Aufgang. Tristano has concertized across the globe at major concert venues and, besides DG, has recorded for PentaTone, Avi, and inFiné.
Francesco Tristano (Schlimé) was born in Luxembourg City on September 16, 1981. He began playing the piano from age five, and at 13 gave his first public performance, playing his own works.
Tristano studied at the Luxembourg and Paris conservatories and also at major music academies in Riga and Brussels. He relocated to New York City in 1998 to attend Juilliard, where he earned bachelor's (2002) and master's (2003) degrees. His teachers there included David Dubal, Jerome Lowenthal, and Jacob Lateiner. Also, he had master classes there with Bach specialist Rosalyn Tureck. Tristano would go on to further study at the Escola Superior de Musica in Catalonia, Spain, with Jordi Camell.
During his student years Tristano was also busy building his concert career. In 2000 made his U.S. debut with the Russian National Orchestra under Mikhail Pletnev. The following year he founded the New Bach Players, with whom he has regularly performed in the roles of soloist and conductor. 2004 was a watershed year for Tristano: CD Accord released his acclaimed two-disc set of the complete Bach keyboard concertos, with the New Bach Players, and Tristano won the prestigious International Contemporary Piano Competition in Orleans, France.
In 2005 he co-founded Aufgang with Khalife and Westrich, and the three gave their debut concert in Barcelona at the Sonar Festival in June. Tristano's recording of the Prokofiev Fifth Concerto, Ravel G major Concerto, and his own 3 Improvisations was issued in 2006 by PentaTone and named an Editor's Choice by Gramophone Magazine.
Tristano was now busy on all fronts with a concert schedule featuring performances with the New Bach Players and Aufgang, as well as the Russian National Orchestra, Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lille, and many others. In 2009-2010 Tristano made six recordings with Aufgang on the inFiné label, among them the Baroque-inspired, electronics-laden Barock. Tristano's 2012 schedule included performances of Messiaen's massive Des canyons aux étoiles in New York City and Ann Arbor, with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra under Jeffrey Tate.
Source: Robert Cummings (allmusic.com)
|Photo by Marie Staggat|
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