180g Direct To Disc Vinyl LP! Hand-Numbered Limited Edition! Pressed at Pallas!
George Gershwin is America's most beloved classical composer. His music personifies the ideals of a vastly diverse modern world, like a magic mirror which reflects every aspect of its surroundings. Gershwin is responsible for opening up the concert hall to the popular American composer, and for breaking down the conventional boundaries between popular music and art music. He loved to play the piano, and would sit at the piano and improvise songs for hours. His piano playing was outstanding, characterized not only by its unbridled virtuosity and spontaneity, but also by its intricacy, charm, and sheer inventiveness.
It is through the piano that his imagination came to life in composition, and although he was equally at home improvising on the piano at a party, composing popular songs for Broadway, or writing large works for the concert hall, it is as a 'serious' classical composer and pianist that Gershwin most desired to be remembered and respected. The selections on this album pay tribute to the 'classical' Gershwin.
Katie Mahan who, at the age of four, was inspired to study the piano after attending a concert of Gershwin given by the Labèque sisters, does not try to imitate Gershwin's singular piano style, nor does she seek to play in a jazz style. Rather, she brings her own unique voice to his works, presenting arrangements that are unabashedly classical, and which reflect her own personality and musical background.
In this live direct-to-disc recording, Mahan not only captures the spontaneity and originality inherent to the fiber of Gershwin's music, but also transports the music into the classical realm where the composer most desired to be.
"It takes nerves of steel and a healthy serving of humility to agree to record direct-to-disc a solo piano recital but that's what Katie Mahan signed on for here. The results are both musically and sonically rewarding...This recording, produced by the same team that was involved in the Berlin Philharmonic's D2D Brahms box set was recorded in Berlin's Meistersaal, built in 1910 as a chamber music concert hall. The Steinway D piano was miked with a Josephson C700, and a Sennheiser MKE 212R, fed into a DGG vintage tube mixing desk and then to a Neumann VMS80/SX74 lathe and cutter head driven by an Ortofon GO 741 amp. If that sounds to you like a prescription for sonic beauty you would be correct!...The piano sound is vivid and direct as only a D2D can deliver, with a rich surrounding reverb that cushions but never distracts from the main event. Mahan's performance is exuberant and not the kind of overly cautious, controlled take D2D sometimes produces in more cautious performers. There is at least one minor 'clam' but that just adds to the concert hall reality of a live performance and good for Mahan to let it all hang out!" - Michael Fremer, Analog Planet, 9/10 Music, 9/10 Sound!
Features: • 180g Vinyl LP Cut Direct To Disc •Hand-Numbered, Limited Edition • Recorded and mastered at Emil Berliner Studios • Produced by Rainer Maillard & Stephan Flock • Pressed at Pallas GmbH