Award-winning pianist Ivana Gavric's
third album for Champs Hill Records is a very personal selection of repertoire including Grieg's Piano Sonata, the Ballade and a selection of his Lyric pieces. There is also a unique epilogue - a new piece written for Ivana (the first of a set of four) by RPS Award-winning composer Cheryl Frances-Hoad. Grieg's Ballade is one of his darkest and most impressive extended pieces for piano. Although he never performed the work himself in concert, it was widely acclaimed, the German critic Walter Niemann describing the Ballade as "the most perfect embodiment of Norway and the Norwegian people, of its agonized longing for light and sun, and at the same time the most perfect embodiment in music of Grieg the man."
Named Gramophone's One to Watch' and BBC Music Magazine's Rising Star', Ivana has performed on the major concert platforms in the UK including The Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall, as well as across Europe, in Canada, Japan and Russia. Attracting considerable praise for her interpretations of Janáek's music in particular, Ivana performed his Concertino and LH-concerto Capriccio with the RPS Award-winning Aurora Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Collon. Ivana has also recorded his piano works on her first two Champs Hill releases, "In The Mists" (CHRCD009) and "From The Street" (CHRCD026).
Gavric delivers an electrifying performance that emphasises the music's close proximity to Bartok. Performance **** Recording **** --BBC Music Magazine, Jan'14
If Grieg is particularly well known for his Piano Concerto and for the luminous miniatures he etched as Lyric Pieces , the Bosnian-born pianist Ivana Gavri here offers a much wider perspective in playing that is instinctively attuned to the moods and shades of the music. She brings vitality and haunting atmosphere to the subtle inflections of the cameo images in six of the Lyric Pieces (including such favourites as Butterfly and Wedding Day at Troldhaugen ), and she beautifully captures the mix of physicality, sensuality and piquancy in four of the Norwegian peasant dances of Slatter Op 72. It was the Norwegian musical landscape that provided Grieg with potent inspiration, as is also borne out by the two more extended works on this disc, the G minor Ballade Op 24 and the early E minor Sonata Op 7. The Ballade, composed at a time of deep introspection in the mid 1870s, is identified here as one of Grieg s finest works, in which Gavri describes its narrative of shifting clouds and glints of sunlight with palpable emotional insight, just as the Sonata comes across with all its youthful exuberance, passion, winning lyricism and tender wistfulness.**** --Telegraph, Jan'14
In short, Gavric possesses what I can describe as a beautiful musical personality, complemented by Champs Hill's excellent sound and presentation. GRAMOPHONE CHOICE --Gramophone, Mar'14
Her playing is clear and beautiful, with liquescent sound and lovely tintinnabulations in the high register of the instrument. --IRR, mar'14