Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence

Nimrod Borenstein: Piano Concerto, Shirim, Light and Darkness


Catalogue No: SOMMCD 281
Release Date: 2023-01-20
Number of Discs: 1
EAN/UPC: 748871328129
Artists: , , ,
Genre: ,
Liner Notes

SOMM RECORDINGS is delighted to announce the label debut of composer-conductor Nimrod Borenstein with first recordings of three works showcasing the piano in separate guises: his Piano Concerto, piano quintet Light and Darkness, and Shirim for solo piano.

Borenstein himself conducts pianist Clélia Iruzun and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in his Piano Concerto, while Iruzun is joined by I Musicanti on Light and Darkness, and is the soloist for Shirim.

For Borenstein, who also provides booklet notes, the disc is a dual celebration: “of the piano, an instrument I love”, and of “musical friendship”, recognising his long creative partnership with Iruzun.

The three-movement Piano Concerto – his Op.91 and first for the instrument, building on discoveries from his continuing series of Chopin- influenced solo Études – was composed for Iruzun and premiered in Brazil in July 2022. It reflects Borenstein’s concept of “the concerto as an heroic form”, a notion informing its “very fast, virtuosic and full of energy” finale.

2021’s Shirim (Op.94) takes its title from the Hebrew word for “poems” or “songs”. Cast in 18 variegated miniatures, “each being a world in themselves”, they are, says Borenstein tributing Mendelssohn, “my own songs without words”. Light and Darkness (2018, Op.80), “begins and ends with pure light, but is full of melancholy, and contains sections of great despair”.

Nimrod Borenstein’s music has been performed by some of the world’s most prestigious soloists, chamber ensembles and orchestras. Several of his 90-plus pieces are available on acclaimed recordings. In demand as a conductor, he is currently working with orchestras in the UK, Germany and Israel.

Clélia Iruzun’s previous SOMM releases include two volumes of Federico Mompou’s piano music (SOMMCD 0121, 0155), two volumes of Treasures from the New World (SOMMCD 0609, 0632), and her International Classical Music Award-nominated Piano Concertos by Albeniz & Mignone (SOMMCD 265) with the RPO and Jac van Steen.

On This Recording

  1. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 91 - I. Moderato
  2. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 91 - II. Adagio
  3. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 91 - III. Allegro
  4. Light and Darkness, Op. 80
  5. Shirim, Op. 94 - Lune et nuages
  6. Shirim, Op. 94 - Un hérisson perdu
  7. Shirim, Op. 94 - Souvenirs de Mendelssohn
  8. Shirim, Op. 94 - Jeux dans le jardin
  9. Shirim, Op. 94 - Un moment de sérénité
  10. Shirim, Op. 94 - Les flaqus d'eau
  11. Shirim, Op. 94 - Gouttes de temps
  12. Shirim, Op. 94 - Pas sérieux
  13. Shirim, Op. 94 - Esquisse mélancolique
  14. Shirim, Op. 94 - Golem
  15. Shirim, Op. 94 - Une petite histoire
  16. Shirim, Op. 94 - Promenade sous la lune
  17. Shirim, Op. 94 - La forêt
  18. Shirim, Op. 94 - Une histoire d'amour
  19. Shirim, Op. 94 - Automne
  20. Shirim, Op. 94 - La nuit
  21. Shirim, Op. 94 - Barcarolle
  22. Shirim, Op. 94 - Dernières minutes dans le jardin féerique

All First Recordings


“dramatic and energetic accents from the orchestra, with a bright and sweetly charming movement reminiscent of wondrous, contrasting, exotic landscapes… thrillingly performed by Clélia Iruzun and the Royal Philharmonic playing under the composer’s baton. … The 18 miniatures are varied… feel-good music of exquisite quality. … Borenstein's [Light and Darkness] drama does not express itself in the most violent manner, but rather… quiet and restrained manner. What is interesting in this piece is the often contrasting rhythms of strings and piano, which enliven the music in very different ways in an engaging interpretation.” —Remy Franck, Pizzicato