This is the first time Xenakis's complete works for solo piano have been collected on a single disc.
They are brilliant, virtuoso masterworks of the 20th century piano literature, whose characteristic traits can be described as "clouds," "sound masses," "nebulae" and galaxies - sounds that are highly expressive and compelling, marked by both the composer's heart and brain.
Diabolically difficult to play, Xenakis himself considered Evryali "...a kind of athletics for hands, body and brain". Its sheer virtuosity and the brilliantly full sound embraces the extreme registers of the keyboard.
Mists indeed invokes its title. It is a work of full of voluminous, opaque clouds interspersed with transparent, pointillistic nebulae; a sonic haze of subtle textures.
Herma's dazzling virtuosity, increasing in speed and intensity, culminates in an outburst of sound requiring the performer to produce an evenness of touch in the piano's extreme registers while playing up to 20 notes a second.
Dikhthas takes advantage of the nature of its two instruments, providing a piano part full of clusters and dense textures while assigning the violin portamento, glissandi, harmonics and quarter-tones. It explores a colorful sonic environment with virtuoso runs for both instruments.
Palimpsest is a sort-of concerto for piano and chamber orchestra, the piano as the lead instrument pits itself against the energetic sounds of the ensemble.
A.r. was commissioned by Radio France for the 50th anniversary of Ravel's death. Its conciseness and virtuosity make it an ideal encore piece.
Iannis Xenakis (1922 - 2001)
Reviews"What a friendly, jazzy piece Ms. Takahashi makes Evryali sound - its statistical rhythms and harmonies winging like a Greek Nancarrow." - Colum MacDonald