In the recent CHANDOS three-volume release of Anton Reicha’s L’Art de varier – a set of an F major theme and 57 variations for piano under the opus number 57, the formidable Serbian American pianist Ivan Ilić takes on the challenge of bringing to life this intriguing work with splendid results.
Anton Reicha(1770-1836), a Czech artist and close friend of Beethoven composed this work between 1801 and 1803, and, in spite of its many merits, L’Art de varier fell into relative obscurity for well over two centuries, along with most of Reicha’s prolific output. Reicha dedicated this work to Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, who then invited the composer to become his Kapellmeister and teacher, only to be inexplicably turned down by the eccentric composer!
Evenly balancing intellectual acuity, peerless musicality and sober sensitivity pianist Ivan Ilić sustains the interest of the listener throughout the entire set of variations that range from the drily humorous to moments of sheer bravura.
The album is neatly engineered and accompanied by a handsome booklet.
Rafael de Acha www.RafaelMusicNotes.com