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Lekeu: Complete Piano Works

Lekeu: Complete Piano Works

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The most complete set of Lekeu’s piano music ever recorded, demonstrating the full range of genius cut off in his prime.

After his death from typhoid fever at the age of just 24, in January 1894, Debussy and many others lamented the passing of a musician with the world at his feet. ‘There is a Belgian school,’ wrote Debussy in 1896. ‘Next to Franck, Lekeu is one of its most remarkable representatives, this Lekeu, the only musician to my knowledge whom Beethoven really inspired.’

Partly due to his sudden demise, very little of his extant music has been published; among the works for piano only the monumental, five-movement Sonata in G minor, an album of three beautiful short pieces written in 1892, and a Mazurka. Jacopo Salvatori demonstrates, on this groundbreaking new album, how much else there is for pianophiles and enthusiasts for French romanticism to enjoy.

In his booklet note, Salvatori describes how he tracked down the manuscripts for several pieces heard here effectively for the first time. They include a beautiful four voices fugue written in 1889, a piece clearly influenced by the teaching of Franck. There is also a series called Morceaux egoists, of which some are lost, but there are pointers in what survives towards a different side of Lekeu to the one known from the familiar, Wagnerian richness of the Violin Sonata. Even the Piano Sonata takes on a different complexion as potentially more of a Suite, somewhat loosely assembled, but unified by a poetic motto from the writer George Vanor. Shedding such light on Lekeu makes Salvatori’s album a unique and valuable contribution to the appreciation of a still little-known but powerfully talented voice of the Belle Epoque.

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 2
    • Release Date:
    • Label: Piano Classics
    • UPC/Barcode: 5029365102896
    • Item Number: PCL10289