In ‘Ailleurs’, Matthieu Bergheau performs three of Rachmaninov’s greatest solo piano works: his two Piano Sonatas and his Corelli Variations. 2023 marks the 150th anniversary of Rachmaninov’s birth and Bergheau pays a very personal tribute to the composer with this release.
‘All through an expression on the piano which shines with a sense of natural, an absence of artefacts and a focus on the narrative of the musical journey.’ – Doug Thomas
‘Every nuance of Bergheau’s piano playing is expressed clearly and precisely…they allow the listener to fully experience the subtle nuances and emotional depth of Bergheau’s piano playing.’ – Dirk Schauss
In ‘Ailleurs’, Matthieu Bergheau performs three of Rachmaninov’s greatest solo piano works: his two Piano Sonatas and his Corelli Variations. 2023 marks the 150th anniversary of Rachmaninov’s birth and Bergheau pays a very personal tribute to the composer with this release. Matthieu Bergheau’s love of the piano was ignited by Rachmaninov. Initially self-taught, Bergheau has garnered prizes at numerous international competitions and is known on social media for his videos, which have garnered millions of views and been featured on Classic FM. ‘Ailleurs’ loosely translates to ‘Somewhere Else’, alluding to the various locations in which Rachmaninov composed these works. Rachmaninov’s Piano Sonata No. 1 was originally conceived as a programmatic work inspired by Goethe’s Faust, and although he ultimately decided not to label the work, its inspiration is audible in elements of the music: it is an expansive and complex sonata on a symphonic scale. The Second Sonata immerses us in a turbulent and harmonically rich sound universe. The outer sections of the second movement possess a melancholy chromaticism remarkably similar to that of Debussy and Ravel, and the finale is a firework of dazzling technique and full-throated passion. Rachmaninov’s last original solo piano work was the fascinating Variations on a Theme by Corelli, dedicated to the great violinist Fritz Kreisler. The theme is based on the famous aria ‘La folia’, an old and widespread melody used in many sets of variations and in Corelli’s Violin Sonata No. 12. Bergheau brings his signature passion and talent to these pieces, celebrating Rachmaninov’s uniquely inventive pianism in his anniversary year.