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Vers Le Silence - Chopin & Bolcom

Vers Le Silence - Piano Works By Chopin & Bolcom—Ran Dank, piano (Avie 2475)

At first glance, the musical worlds of Frederic Chopin and William Bolcom would seem strange bedfellows. But on his solo debut recording, Ran Dank,  the Israeli American pianist and 2007 Cleveland International Piano Competition medalist makes a convincing case for pairing the two composers.  Chopin’s brand is pianistic panache and Bolcom has one of contemporary music's most bold and inventive voices. Juxtaposing the works of these two pianist-composers reveals their common affinity for the keyboard and ear for sound and sense of structure.  Bolcom's Twelve New Etudes won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 and were the subject of Ran Dank’s DMA dissertation at City University of New York in 2017.  While Chopin helped define the piano etude, Ran Dank turns to his Polonaises, Mazurkas and Waltzes in moods ranging from heroic to dark and brooding.  These two composers actually reflect the arc of Ran Dank’s life.  As a child of parents from Poland, he became mesmerized by Chopin’s music at an early age.  Bolcom's music was a much later discovery, but one that has become equally valuable, following Dank's move to America. The album title (“Toward Silence” in French) is the title of one of Bolcom’s challenging etudes.