Pianist Inon Barnatan's newest recording, Darknesse Visible, to be released on April 10

Darknesse Visible, pianist Inon Barnatan’s debut recording for Avie Records, will be released in the U.S. on Tuesday, April 10 and in Europe on Monday, April 23. This recording brings together colorful works by British and French composers which are inspired by literature and evocatively explore the interconnection of darkness and light.

The works on the CD are: Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit and La valse, opening and closing the CD respectively; Thomas Adès’s Darknesse Visible, from which the recording takes its name; Debussy’s Suite Bergamasque; and Ronald Stevenson’s Fantasy on Peter Grimes, based on themes from Benjamin Britten’s opera.

Mr. Barnatan, described by the London’s Evening Standard as “a true poet of the keyboard”, explains why he chose the CD title: “When British composer Thomas Adès titled his piano piece Darknesse Visible he was remembering two towering English figures: John Milton, who used the phrase "Darkness Visible" to describe the fires of hell in his epic poem, "Paradise Lost", as well as John Dowland, on whose song of 1610, In Darknesse Let Me Dwell, Adés based his own piano piece. Adés’s piece highlights the Dowland song not by illuminating it, but rather by emphasizing its darkest qualities. With a simple change of spelling (Darknesse instead of Darkness) Adés alludes to both Milton and Dowland, and thus simultaneously suggests the inspiration and its transformation. The title represents some of the aspects I find most fascinating about the music on this album. All the pieces are inspired by stories or poems; and in all of them the dark and the light are intertwined.”

In his liner notes for the recording (abridged below), Mr. Barnatan outlines the literary origins and inspirations of the other works on the recording. To further illustrate the themes of the works on this recording, Mr. Barnatan is collaborating with videographer Tristan Cook and artist Zach Smithey on a series of short video vignettes that will be available to view at the time of release in April at www.inonbarnatan.com and on YouTube.


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