THE PRELUDES PROJECT
Holly Roadfeldt piano
THE PRELUDES PROJECT is Holly Roadfeldt’s debut album on RAVELLO records, and features a complete recording of Chopin’s Op. 28 preludes for piano and a new set of twenty-six piano preludes written by American composer Kirk O’Riordan. In her performance of these works, Roadfeldt takes claim to one of the most iconic pieces in the solo piano repertoire, and also annoints O’Riordan’s new work as an impressive achievement among Classical music’s greatest sets of piano preludes.
French composer Frédéric Chopin finished composing his Twenty-Four Preludes, Op. 28, in 1839, envisioning the set as a response to the twenty-four preludes in J. S. Bach’s monumental Well-Tempered Clavier. This connection is meaningful to any assessment of Chopin’s work, as Bach’s composition aimed to showcase the chromatic potential of a newly invented tuning system for keyboard instruments. By the same token, Chopin’s Op. 28 preludes put on display the unprecedented expressive powers of the modern piano, which was a relatively new instrument in 1839, and would continue to be refined over the course of the nineteenth century. To this end, Roadfeldt’s performance of the Chopin unquestionably captures the elegance, power, and intimacy that the composer explores in these pioneering preludes.
In THE PRELUDES PROJECT, Roadfeldt also makes the persuasive case that, as Chopin’s preludes were to Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, so might O’Riordan’s preludes be to Chopin’s. Certainly, O’Riordan matches Chopin’s ability to create a vast collection of nuanced, indelible, and – most importantly – satisfactorily self-contained musical statements. As one expects, the Twenty-Six Preludes vary a great deal, but each achieves its beauty by crafting a unique space with the piano’s voice. In this way, O’Riordan’s preludes connect with the fundamental motivations underlying Bach and Chopin’s famous preludes: exploring the sound of the instrument.
Of course, Holly Roadfeldt molds the piano’s sound in THE PRELUDES PROJECT, and, in her masterful rendering of Chopin and O’Riordan’s pieces, brings these two works side-by-side. As a result, one should consider Roadfeldt’s performance on this album as significant a contribution to piano music as the compositions she performs.
The two sets of preludes on the album are part of a musical endeavor of Roadfeldt’s that is aimed at challenging listeners in their expectations of contemporary and standard repertoire.
Celebrating the piano prelude, Roadfeldt’s premieres of new preludes—a total of 55 by 14 composers to date—are purposefully performed alongside standard repertoire.
The album is a performance pairing of two profound loves for pianist Holly Roadfeldt: the first classical piece she performed, at age 6, and performing new music--solo piano preludes written for her by American composer Kirk O’Riordan.
Roadfeldt has performed these works at major festivals and in recital across the United States.
Roadfeldt currently serves as Master Piano Faculty with Distinction at The Music School of Delaware, having received performance degrees from the Eastman School of Music, Indiana University and the University of Colorado in Boulder.
O’Riordan’s album STRANGE FLOWERS was released on Ravello Records in 2013: Roadfeldt appears as the featured performer.
Gramophone praised O’Riordan as “a composer for whom imagery is a defining inspiration”
ALSO ON RAVELLO RECORDS
Liszt | Prokofiev | Shatin
Gayle Martin, Piano
Release Date November 18, 2016
Catalog #: RR7947
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
Preludes, Op. 28 (1836-39)
01 No. 1 in C Major (Agitato)
02 No. 2 in A Minor (Lento)
03 No. 3 in G Major (Vivace)
04 No. 4 in E Minor (Largo)
05 No. 5 in D Major (Molto allegro)
06 No. 6 in B Minor (Lento assai)
07 No. 7 in A Major (Andantino)
08 No. 8 in F# Minor (Molto agitato)
09 No. 9 in E Major (Largo)
10 No. 10 in C# Minor (Molto allegro)
11 No. 11 in B Major (Vivace)
12 No. 12 in G# Minor (Presto)
13 No. 13 in F# Major (Lento)
14 No. 14 in Eb Minor (Allegro)
15 No. 15 in Db Major (Sostenuto)
16 No. 16 in Bb Minor (Presto con fuoco)
17 No. 17 in Ab Major (Allegretto)
18 No. 18 in F Minor (Molto Allegro)
19 No. 19 in Eb Major (Vivace)
20 No. 20 in C Minor (Largo)
21 No. 21 in Bb Major (Cantabile)
22 No. 22 in G Minor (Molto agitato)
23 No. 23 in F Major (Moderato)
24 No. 24 in D Minor (Allegro appassionato)
Kirk O’Riordan (b. 1968)
Twenty-Six Preludes for Piano (2014)
01 I . molto legato; lightly and spirited
02 II. dancing, with quiet energy
03 III. misterioso, distant
04 IV. molto legatissimo; brooding
05 V. very slowly, deliberately
06 VI. agitato, unsettled
07 VII. floating, with trepidation
08 VIII. hushed, with energy
09 IX. child-like with simplicity
10 X. sparkling; bright, with energy
11 XI. freely, blurry
12 XII. gently, fragile
13 XIII. presto feroce, with intensity
14 XIV. very slowly, languishing
15 XV. molto misterioso; whispering
16 XVI. legatissimo; like bells
17 XVII. hypnotic, distant
18 XVIII. energetic, exuberant
19 XIX. molto misterioso; “will o’ the wisp”
20 XX. sparkling; light and crystalline
21 XXI. languishing, very distant
22 XXII. with longing
23 XXIII. molto rubato; fluid expressive
24 XXIV. floating, like distant chimes
25 XXV. frenetic, with energy
26 XXVI. gently, with sadness
All Tracks recorded August 11-13, 2015 at the Williams Center for the Arts on the campus of Lafayette College in Easton PA
Producer and Engineer Andreas K. Meyer
Producer Holly Roadfeldt
Piano Technician Chris Solliday, RPT
Cover Photography Holly Roadfeldt
Executive Producer Bob Lord
Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Alex Bourne
Audio Director Jeff LeRoy
Production Engineer Lucas Paquette
Art & Production Director Brett Picknell
Graphic Design Emily Roulo
Marketing Mike Mahn
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Ravello Records is the contemporary classical label imprint of audio production house PARMA Recordings. Dedicated to highlighting forward thinking composers and musicians from around the world, the New England-based label's eclectic catalog offers listeners a cross-section of today's up-and-coming innovators in orchestral, chamber, and experimental music.
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