Sonata in A Major D664
The “Wanderer” Fantasy D760,
Sonata in B flat major D960
George Emmanuel Lazaridis, piano
“Special enough to be beyond comparison”, – BBC Music Magazine, Disc of the Month, SOMMCD 2004 Schumann Carnaval. Fantasiestucke and Papillon Op. 2
“Such drama, power and concentration, that they can hold their own even if you stop to consider celebrated recordings of Horowitz, Argerich, Brendel and Zimmerman.” Gramophone Magazine, Bryce Morrison
“His recording of Papillon Op. 2 ranks among the top 5 best performances including Richter’s and Arrau’s” – International Piano
The “Wanderer” Fantasy and the B flat major Sonata have made part of George Lazaridis’s repertoire since his student days. His affinity with the music of Schubert becomes clearly evident from the very first notes of the little A major Sonata in this recording and he brings to it the sheer lyricism and freshness which are characteristic of this work. Schubert composed it in the summer of 1819 while on a carefree holiday in the idyllic town of Steyr.
Schubert composed the “Wanderer” Fantasy in 1822, a truly magnificent and technically challenging, large-scale work in which the four movements are continuous, each movement progressing organically into the next, combining a theme-and-variations with sonata form. Lazaridis clearly relishes the formidable technical and interpretative challenges inherent in this work; his playing is sharply focused and never less than compelling.
This is also reflected in a review received after his recital in New York’s Merkin Hall on 13th October 2013:- “Lazaridis opened with Schubert’s “Wanderer” Fantasy: this was an epic performance with a clear trajectory and denouement, through the cruelly difficult, relentless counterpoint of the big block chords in the opening allegro movement and a vividly cantabile take of the adagio followed by a dazzling climb to the big, Beethovenesque climax at the end.”
Lazaridis’s Schubert recital on this disc ends with the sublime B flat major Sonata D960. This is best described by Robert Matthew-Walker in the booklet notes accompanying the disc: “In the last months of his life, and in less than six weeks, Schubert wrote his last three piano sonatas, all three as much masterpieces as were Mozart’s final three symphonies. This Sonata in B flat major is the last one of all, as Robert Simpson claimed, ‘a measured and compassionate utterance of complete and profoundly sublime beneficence.’ …This masterpiece has the capacity to renew and refresh the listener with every hearing, a testament to human creativity as valid today as when the composer vouchsafed it to us — one of the greatest and most serene piano works since Beethoven.”
Born in Greece in 1978, George Emmanuel Lazaridis enjoys a flourishing international career that has taken him from the US and Mexico to Europe, Russia, Egypt and the Middle East. He has performed in major venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Barbican, Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw, the St. Petersburg Philharmonia Hall, Palais des Beaux Arts, Festspielhaus, Cologne’s Philharmonie, Stockholm’s Konserthuset, Vienna’s Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Athens Megaron, the Palace of the Arts, Budapest etc.
Lazaridis has performed with leading orchestras such as the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Hamburg Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Warsaw Symphony, Munich Symphony, Wiener Kammer Orchester, Quatar Philharmonic, and many others, under the direction of Sir Neville Marriner, Ingo Metzmacher, Yuri Temirkanov, Yoel Levi Michel Tabachnik, Maxim Shostakovich, Alexander Myrat et al.
Mentored by Yonty Solomon at the Royal College of Music, London, he has also worked with Alfred Brendel, Ruth Nye, Domna Evnouhidou, Paul Badura Skoda, Noretta Conci Leech and Douglas Finch. From the age of eleven he has received a plethora of prizes and honorary awards and scholarships such as the ‘Jeunes Solistes D’Europe’, Steinway & Sons, Scholarships from the Hattori, Onassis and Levendis Foundations, the RCM ‘Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’ Award and the Chappell Gold Medal 2000, a TCM Fellowhip, etc.
Lazaridis’s recording of the Liszt Sonata and Paganini Caprices on Linn Records was selected among the top 50 best releases of the decade in Pianist Magazine.
On This Recording
- Piano Sonata No. 13: I. Allegro moderato
- Piano Sonata No. 13: II. Andantino
- Piano Sonata No. 13: III. Allegro
- Fantasy: I. Allegro con fuoco ma non troppo
- Fantasy: II. Adagio
- Fantasy: III. Presto
- Fantasy: IV. Allegro
- Piano Sonata No. 21: I. Molto moderato
- Piano Sonata No. 21: II. Andante sostenuto
- Piano Sonata No. 21: III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace con delicatezza
- Piano Sonata No. 21: IV. Allegro ma non troppo