Artist: Bruce Levingston

Composers: David Bruce, James Matheson, Robert Schumann

Format: 1 CD


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Bruce Levingston is one of today’s celebrated figures in contemporary classical music. The New York Times named his album Heavy Sleep a “Best Classical Recording of the Year” praising his “mastery of color and nuance.” The New Yorker has called him “a force for new music” with “a gift for innovative and glamorous programming.”

The title of pianist Bruce Levingston’s haunting new album, Windows, is taken from the beautiful suite by acclaimed American composer James Matheson,  heard here in its world premiere recording. This evocative, richly-colored work depicts the exquisite stained glass windows of Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse inspired by ancient imagery and scripture. These works, which reflect a myriad of overlapping artistic influences, led Levingston, an artist known for his cutting-edge programming, to seek out other composers who have been inspired by multiple art forms. Robert Schumann was an immediate choice. His intimate Kinderszenen, a series of distilled little jewels that offer fleeting glimpses of childhood, is paired with the urbane, elegant Arabeske. Distinguished British-American composer David Bruce is also heard here in the premiere recording of his touching work, The Shadow of the Blackbird, inspired by the music of Schumann as well as the moving poetry of Wallace Stevens. It seemed fitting for Levingston to program these three inspired, and inspiring, composers together. Their works, old and new, represent aural windows through which their extraordinary visions may be heard, sensed and felt. 

Pianist Bruce Levingston is one of the country’s leading figures in contemporary classical music. He regularly appears in some of the world’s most prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Royal Opera House of London. Many of today’s most important composers have written music for him and his performances of their works have won notable critical acclaim. The New York Times has praised his “mastery of color and nuance” and The New Yorker has called him “a force for new music.” 

Levingston’s recordings have also garnered numerous accolades. His album Heavy Sleep was named one of the “Best Classical Recordings of the Year” by The New York Times. Gramophone has called his playing “masterly” and praised his “compelling, colourful pianism.” The American Record Guide called Levingston “a pianist’s pianist.” 

Levingston has collaborated with some of the most gifted artists of our time including composer Philip Glass, prima ballerina assoluta Alessandra Ferri, dancer Herman Cornejo, actor Ethan Hawke, composer/singer Lisa Bielawa, authors Michael Cunningham and George Plimpton, Colin Jacobsen and Eric Jacobsen and the Brooklyn Rider, and choreographers Jorma Elo and Russell Maliphant. He has also worked with numerous cultural institutions involving art, dance, film and music including American Ballet Theatre, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, Rooftop Films, SFMoMA, Rooftop Films, Alliance Française/ French Institute, Joyce Theater, the Aspen Institute and Aspen Music Festival. 

Levingston is founder and artistic director of the music foundation Premiere Commission, Inc., which has commissioned and premiered over sixty new works, and is the author of Bright Fields: The Mastery of Marie Hull, the comprehensive biography and survey of the work of the noted Southern painter.

Track List

The Shadow of the Blackbird (David Bruce)
1. I. —     5:34
2. II. —     6:43

Kinderszenen, Op. 15 (Robert Schumann)
3. No. 1, Von fremden Landern und Menschen     2:04
4. No. 2, Kuriose Geschichte     1:16
5. No. 3, Hasche-Mann     0:42
6. No. 4, Bittendes Kind     1:15
7. No. 5, Glückes genug     0:56
8. No. 6, Wichtige Begebenheit     0:57
9. No. 7, Träumerei     3:36
10. No. 8, Am Kamin     1:15
11. No. 9, Ritter vom Steckenpferd    0:53
12. No. 10, Fast zu ernst     2:18
13. No. 11, Fürchtenmachen     1:58
14. No. 12, Kind im Einschlummern     2:51
15. No. 13, Der Dichter spricht     3:12

16. Arabeske in C Major, Op. 18 (Robert Schumann)     8:44

Windows (James Matheson)
17. I. Jeremiah     2:40
18. II. Isaiah     2:42
19. III. Crucifixion     5:57
20. IV. The Good Samaritan     5:22
21. V. The Rose     7:26

Total time: 68:21
Release date: January 26, 2018
UPC: 053479221827

Quotes & Reviews

…daring and utterly successful…

…a welcome addition to the libraries of those who, like this writer, love great piano music in the hands of master players.

Rafael de Acha, Rafael's Music Notes

Levingston proves himself an artist whose first impulse is to find and reveal a composer’s most fragile moments. His ability to do this is quite disarming.

Alex Baran, WholeNote

The album is described in the publicity blurb as “haunting,” and this surely applies to the second movement of Shadow, which is quiet and atmospheric yet in no way sentimental or treacly. It is here, and in similar other moments in the album, that Levingston shows his mettle as an artist, evoking an otherworldly mood without slipping into banality. 

Lynn René Bayley, Art Music Lounge

★ ★ ★ ★

A reflective disc, with Schumann effectively placed alongside two contemporary composers. It’s played with character.

Freya Parr, BBC Music Magazine

...mastery of color and nuance...
— The New York Times
A pianist’s pianist… stunning and highly illuminating performances.
— American Record Guide

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