I am very excited to share with you the release of this my latest solo album with music by Ferruccio Busoni! 

I have always been a fan of the music by Busoni and this has been a bucket list project for me for many years! A big thank you to Editions Hortus for their continued support; as well as to Nina Adler, Clara Vamvulescu, and Virginie d’Avezac for their assistance.

The enigmatic Italian composer Ferruccio Busoni slipped somewhat between the cracks of music history. Although well-known for his brilliant piano transcriptions of master- pieces by other composers, his original works have eluded popularity in performance. The publication of his controversial essay, Sketch of a new aesthetic of music (1907), marks a turning point in his musical style. The Enigma highlights some of these later works, including the heroic Fantasia Contrappuntistica, two of the Elegies, the Fantasia Nach J.S. Bach, and the Indian Diary.  

Get your physical copy here!  http://www.editionshortus.com/catalogue_fiche.php?prod_id=266.

Click here for more info and links to Spotify, Tidal, and more.

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My recent album with Ambroise Aubrun Paris-Los Angeles (released on Editions Hortus) was just reviewed on the Pizzicato Journal in Luxembourg. Critic Remy Franck wrote the following review:

Paris <> Los Angeles; Eric Zeisl: Menuchim’s Song + Brandeis Sonata pour violon et piano + Zigeunerweise; Darius Milhaud: Sonate pour violon et piano No. 2 op. 40; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Violinsonate KV 304 Ambroise Aubrun, Violine,  Steven Vanhauwaert, Klavier; 1 CD Hortus 189; Aufnahme 09/2019, Veröffentlichung 04/09/2020 (59’33) – Rezension von Remy Franck

Der 1905 in Wien geborene Komponist Eric Zeisl, dessen Vater in Theresienstadt interniert war und später in Treblinka ermordet wurde, war selber 1938 zuerst nach Frankreich und dann in die USA geflohen, wo er sich in Los Angeles niederließ. Diese CD soll von der Freundschaft zwischen Eric Zeisl und Darius Milhaud zeugen, die sich bereits in Paris kennen gelernt hatten und im amerikanischen Exil viel Kontakt hatten. Neben Werken der beiden Komponisten steht auch Mozarts Sonate in e-Moll auf dem Programm, die Zeisl angeblich faszinierte.

Menuchims Lied, mit der das Programm eröffnet wird, wurde 1939 komponiert und ist Milhaud gewidmet. Aubrun und Vanhauwaert liefern davon eine tief empfundene Interpretation.

Die herrlich kühne Zweite Sonate von Milhaud-Sonate, geschrieben als der Komponist 25 Jahre alt war, ist André Gide gewidmet. Gespielt wird sie auf dieser CD sehr fantasievoll, mit Klangsinn und Raffinement.

Eine angenehm frische Darbietung der Mozart-Sonate KV 304 führt zu Zeisls Brandeis-Sonate aus dem Jahre 1949. In der Vermittlung jüdischer Kunstmusik war Zeisl am Brandeis Camp Institute in Santa Susana tätig. Daher stammt der Name der Sonate, die ganz klar zu den von jüdischer Musik beeinflussten Werken des Komponisten zählt. Aubruns feiner, sensibler Geigenton und Vanhauwaerts nicht weniger gefühlvolle Begleitung lassen die beiden ersten Sätze, ein Grave-Allegretto und ein Andante Religioso sehr bewegend werden. Das Rondo-Allegro wird sehr differenziert und lebendig gespielt.  Die lyrische Zigeunerweise aus der Suite op. 2 beendet das intelligent zusammengestellte und überaus fein aufgeführte Programm  einem melancholisch-nostalgischen Touch.

The composer Eric Zeisl, born in Vienna in 1905, had fled first to France in 1938 and then to the USA, where he settled in Los Angeles. This CD is intended to bear witness to the friendship between Eric Zeisl and Darius Milhaud, who had already met in Paris and also spent much time together in California. In addition to works by the two composers, the programme also includes Mozart’s Sonata in E minor, which is said to have particularly fascinated Zeisl.
Menuchim’s song, with which the program opens, was composed in 1939 and is dedicated to Milhaud. Aubrun and Vanhauwaert provide a deeply felt interpretation of it.
A wonderfully bold Second Sonata by Milhaud, written when the composer was 25 years old, is dedicated to André Gide. It is played on this CD with great imagination and refinement.
A pleasantly fresh performance of the Mozart Sonata KV 304 leads to Zeisl Brandeis Sonata from 1949. Zeisl was active in the teaching of Jewish art music at the Brandeis Camp Institute in Santa Susana. Hence the name of the sonata, which is clearly one of the composer’s works influenced by Jewish music. Aubrun’s fine, sensitive violin tone and Vanhauwaert’s no less sensitive accompaniment make the first two movements, a Grave Allegretto and an Andante Religioso very moving. The Rondo-Allegro is played very differentiated and lively. The lyrical Gypsy Melody from the Suite op. 2 ends the intelligently arranged and extremely finely performed program with a melancholic-nostalgic touch.

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My album Paris <-> Los Angeles featuring works by Zeisl, Mozart, and Milhaud with violinist Ambroise Aubrun is now officially released on the French label Editions Hortus!

Austrian-American composer Eric Zeisl fled Vienna in 1938 and found refuge first in Paris before relocating to Los Angeles. This album depicts the friendship between Eric Zeisl and Darius Milhaud, their exile to California and their mutual admiration for each other’s work, and revisits Mozart’s sonata in E minor which fascinated Zeisl.

You can purchase a hard copy on Editions Hortus and Fnac, or you can tune in on Spotify, Tidal, and Amazon.

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Tune in to France Musique’s En Pistes this Friday September 4th, for a review and run of the CD I just released with violinist Ambroise Aubrun, called Paris – Los Angeles, featuring works by Zeisl, Mozart, and Milhaud. We were also on their show last week, here is the link in case you missed it!

https://www.francemusique.fr/emissions/en-pistes/immersion-grecque-avec-le-compositeur-nikos-skalkottas-en-compagnie-du-athens-philharmonia-orchestra-86238?fbclid=IwAR3G5oe2Mat0MPxaWIJd8QLTnl17KbCtQLMkQHRjGF4NCOhPSYCk2IBWQYI

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Hey everybody!

I will be live-streaming my Second-Sundays-at-Two recital this Sunday July 12th at 2PM (West Coast time) on the following YouTube link:

The program will be as follows: Johannes Brahms: Variations opus 9 on a theme by Schumann Ferruccio Busoni: Fantasia nach J.S. Bach Claude Debussy: Preludes book II: Brouillards and Bruyères.

See you then!

Steven

P.S. In these times of limited concerts, if you are able to donate your concert ticket, it would of course be very much appreciated; you are welcome to do so via Paypal button on this link (the account accepts also credit card payments with no PayPal account attached).

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