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Four Piano Works of Sir John Tavener Receive World Première Recording

March 23, 2007

Dutch pianist Ralph van Raat recorded six piano works by John TavenerPalin, Mandoodles, In Memory of Two Cats, Ypakoë, Zodiacs and Pratirupa. Palin, Mandoodles, In Memory of Two Cats, and Pratirupa receive their world première recording. Sessions took place at Potton Hall, UK, from 7 to 8 March. “Very successful sessions with Ralph”, reports producer engineer Michael Ponder. “I used all the acoustics at Potton hall to get a resonant sound on the piano, something Tavener’s music requires.” 

Ralph van Raat, an advocate of contemporary music who has been receiving much international praise for his first Naxos album of the complete piano music of John Adams (8.559285), met with composer Sir John Tavener at his home in England a few days before the recording to work on the interpretation of his music. “For me it is important to work with living composers, they give a great insight and understanding of their art”, says Ralph van Raat. “Sir John and I worked together on all the piano pieces, and it struck me that as he heard some of the music he had written quite many years ago, he decided to make changes in tempo, dynamics and even notes, at times. Now, a second edition of some of his piano works is necessary. By his occasional playing, and singing, the intention of his works became even clearer. Having discussed all the piano music together, it was very comfortable to record the works at Potton Hall. I am very excited about the disc.”


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