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Sono Luminus


Piano works by Peter Knell & Sergei Prokofiev

Markus Pawlik

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Sono Luminus is excited to present Snapshots, a stunning collection of short yet brilliant piano works by composers Peter Knell and Sergei Prokofiev, all expertly executed by celebrated pianist Markus Pawlik.

While composers had written short keyboard pieces for centuries, Ludwig van Beethoven was the first great composer to publish collections of shorter pieces as an organized entity, collections that he called “bagatelles.” Following Beethoven's precedent, Romantics such as Schubert, Chopin, Mendelssohn, and, especially, Schumann, cultivated the fashionable and lucrative genre of the “character piece.” This tradition continued into the twentieth century with such works as Sergei Prokofiev's Mimolyotnosti, Op. 22, and the genre is alive and well in our time, as is evinced by Peter Knell's Snapshots.

Peter Knell's series of twenty-two short pieces for piano that comprise Snapshots could only have been composed by an American in the first decades of the twenty-first century. The title of these concise vignettes, which, when played altogether last about twenty-four minutes, is quintessentially American. A “snapshot,” after all, is a photograph that is “shot” quickly and spontaneously - a record of a fugitive vision frozen and preserved on film for the family album. For Americans of a certain age, the word “snapshot” conjures up the inexpensive Brownie box camera, introduced by the Eastman Kodak Company in order to put photography within the reach of unpretentious amateurs.

Peter Knell (b. 1970) has received numerous awards in national and international competitions, including First Prizes in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra's 10th New Music Festival International Composers Competition, the Indiana State University Contemporary Music Festival/Louisville Orchestra Prize, and the Omaha Symphony Guild International New Music Competition, as well as Second Prizes in the Fourth International Witold Lutoslawski Composers Competition, the First International Composers' Competition “In Memoriam Zoltán Kodály”, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's Young Composers Competition.

Markus Pawlik has been characterized as one of those rare pianists who combine sensitivity and expressiveness together with a technique that evinces phenomenal virtuosity. Born in Bremen in 1966, he began to concertize at the age of seven and he won both the German National Young Musician's Competition and the Hamburg Steinway Competition three times each. In 2003, Pawlik performed the world première of a concerto written especially for him by Japanese composer Ichiro Nodaira: this performance occurred in Berkeley conducted by Kent Nagano. In 2006, Pawlik played the Japanese première of this concerto at Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Other performances include works of both the twentieth and twenty-first centuries such as Berg's Kammerkonzert, as well as scores by Britten, Takemitsu, Dimov, Knell, and numerous others.

Snapshots - Peter Knell
  1. I. Delicate, resonant
  2. II. Funky, brutal
  3. III. Chant-like, slowly
  4. IV. Lively
  5. V. Resonant
  6. VI. Obsessive
  7. VII. Triumphant
  8. VIII. Driving
  9. IX. Bouncy
10. X. Enigmatic
11. XI. Funky
12. XII. Freely, sparse
13. XIII. Energetic
14. XIV. Deadpan, mechanical
15. XV. Flowing
16. XVI. Medium groove
17. XVII. Dramatic
18. XVIII. Dreamlike, freely
19. XIX. Hammered
20. XX. Lilting
21. XXI. Jubilant
22. XXII. Muscular
Visions Fugitives, Op. 22 - Sergei Prokofiev
23. I. Lentamente
24. II. Andante
25. III. Allegretto
26. IV. Animato
27. V. Molto giocoso
28. VI. Con eleganza
29. VII. Pittoresco (Arpa)
30. VIII. Commodo
31. IX. Allegretto tranquillo
32. X. Ridicolosamente
33. XI. Con vivacità;
34. XII. Assai moderato
35. XIII. Allegretto
36. XIV. Feroce
37. XV. Inquieto
38. XVI. Dolente
39. XVII. Poetico
40. XVIII. Con una dolce lentezza
41. XIX. Presto agitatissimo e molto accentuato
42. XX. Lento irrealmente

Piano Sonata No. 1 - Peter Knell
43. I. Con Brio
44. II. Largo
45. III. Presto
46. IV. Misterioso
47. V. Feroce

Dorian Recordings & Dorian Discovery
are distributed in Australia by Rockian Trading