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Ivory Classics Music

Ralph Votapek plays Ginastera, Poulenc, Szymanowski and Piazzolla

Ralph Votapek plays Ginastera, Poulenc, Szymanowski and Piazzolla

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Ivory Classics CD-70804
Ralph Votapek

Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983):
Sonata No. 1, Op. 22 (1952)
01. 1st Mvt: Allegro marcato04:17 ('97)
02. 2nd Mvt: Presto misterioso02:40 ('97)
03. 3rd Mvt: Adagio molto appassionato05:07 ('97)
04. 4th Mvt: Ruvido ed ostinato02:53 ('97)

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963):
05. No. 1 in C major (1929) - Sans traîner03:01 ('97)
06. No. 2 in A major (1933) - Bal de jeunes filles Très animé01:26 ('97)
07. No. 3 in F major (1934) - Les cloches de Malines Modéré mais sans lenteur03:09 ('97)
08. No. 4 in C minor (1934) - Bal fantôme Lent, très las et piano01:31 ('97)
09. No. 5 in D minor (1934) - Phalènes Presto misterioso01:17 ('97)
10. No. 6 in D minor (1934) - Très clame mais san traîner03:05 ('97)
11. No. 7 in E flat major (1935) - Assez allant02:08 ('97)
12. No. 8 (1938) - Pour servir de Coda au Cycle Très modéré01:50 ('97)

Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937):
Masques (3 Poems), Op. 34 (1916)
13. I. Shéhérazade - Lento assai, languido09:21 ('97)
14. II. Tantris le Bouffon - Vivace assai05:59 ('97)
15. III. Sérénade de Don Juan - Vivace05:51 ('97)

Astor Piazzolla:
Two Tangos
16. Lo Que Vendrá (1957)02:49 ('97)
17. Retrato de Alfredo Gobbi (1970)03:09 ('97)

Piano: Ralph Votapek

Producer: Michael Rolland Davis
Engineer: Lawrence Rock

Piano: Steinway
Mastered by: Ed Thompson

(DDD) Recorded July 28-29, 1997 Chicago
Mastered using 20-Bit State-of-the-Art Technology - HDCD Encoded

Mr. Votapek won the Gold Medal at the First Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. This newly recorded disc includes Ginastera's Sonata No.1, Szymanowski's Masques, Poulenc's Eight Nocturnes and two tangos by Piazzolla. Rarely heard works in exceptional performances.


This is a fine new disc from American pianist Ralph Votapek. In the Ginastera Sonata, Votapek allows the ornaments of the structure to stand out with clarity and his rhythmic flexibility results in an expressive rendition. His Poulenc Nocturnes are possessed of a masculine charm; crisp, straightforward, but also phrased with enough rhythmic freedom to allow a singing tone to peal forth. These are beautiful, thoughtfully conceived performances of these irresistible little Nocturnes. Mr. Votapek engages all of the music he plays with all-encompassing artistry that makes this an unusually satisfying recital.

Fanfare Magazine, Dec. 1998

Since winning the first Van Cliburn Competition in 1962, Ralph Votapek has maintained a solid, multi-faceted career throughout the United States and South America. Commercial recordings have been few and far between for this pianist, a situation that Ivory Classics remedies with this unusual, brilliantly played recital. Votapek's full-bodied sonority sings with lyric simplicity. Unlike many classical pianists who've climbed aboard the Piazzolla bandwagon, Votapek understands what makes this music tick. A delicious disc.

International Piano, Nov. 1998

Few pianists personify elegance and austerity as well as Ralph Votapek. In one of the more imaginative recitals on disc, Mr. Votapek plays with extraordinary ease, transparency, and decisiveness. His brand of pianism is illuminating and introspective.

American Record Guide, Oct. 1998

Recorded last year, when he was 58, this brilliant program confirms Votapek's keyboard mastery and musical aristocracy. Ginastera's irrepressible First Sonata is reinstated as a 20th-century classic.

Los Angeles Times, Jun. 1998

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