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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Gustave Samazeuilh, Complete Piano Works, Olivier Chauzu

Gustave Samazeuilh (1877-1967) is by no means a well-known name in the compositional ranks. We get the chance to hear his Complete Piano Works (Grand Piano GP 669) in a new recording by Olivier Chauzu. They span a period from 1902 to 1947, eight works in all, one a first recording.

As he grew up he came into contact with many luminary composers of the French school, who were family friends. His music reflects his own version of impressionism, at least in the solo piano works, with shimmering surfaces and at times a Scriabinesque post-romantic expressionism.

The music on this album is inspired, well-crafted and played extraordinarily well by Chauzu. Some are quite difficult and demanding for the pianist, all are poetic and very luminous, each in its own way. The music demands your respect, for it is by no means of minor quality. I came out of the hearing of this album with a good deal of admiration for Samazeuilh. You will no doubt feel similarly if you give the music a chance.


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