Like Miguel Hernández to Ramón Sijé, Igor Levit has dedicated an elegy to the premature death of Hannes Malte Mahler. The young German pianist of Russian origin (Nizhni Nóvgorod, 31 years old) signs some senses verses in the libretto of this new release of Sony Classical. But the real elegy is in the content of this double CD, the fourth after the last sonatas by Beethoven (2013), the partitas by Bach (2014) and that triple set of variations, from 2015: Goldberg (Bach), Diabelli (Beethoven) and The people united will never be defeated (Rzewski) Three years later, Levit is overcome with another fascinating recording, made with a less trite repertoire and whose listening is a true experience. "It's the most personal program I've ever played," the pianist admitted. Babelia by telephone, while underlining the triple theme of the album: life, love and death, a program identical to the aforementioned elegy of the poet from Alicante.
The main composer of this record is Ferruccio Busoni. "A kind of hero to me, as a composer, pianist and thinker," says Levit, who acknowledges the influence of his famous aesthetic 1907 sketch: "I think all music is free and nobody has its monopoly, nor the composer, nor the interpreter, nor the public. " An art that goes directly to the heart without the need of representation or descriptions. Levit demonstrates this with Busoni, already fantasizing about Bach's themes in memory of his father or through his Berceuse bitonal to the death of the mother. But also with a transcription of Brahms from the Bachian Chaconne for the left hand, two Wagnerian arrangements from Liszt and the Ghostly variations of Schumann. He dares even with Busoni's arrangement of Liszt's outstanding Meyerbeerian fantasy and meyerbeerian fugue and ends with an improvisation by Bill Evans, "a dose of peace after darkness". But the centerpiece of the disk is A Mensch, by Rzewski. "It's the main relationship with my friend Hannes," confesses Levit, who fills in the improvised passage of the work reciting the famous verse on the piano that says: "I feel your death more than my life."
Igor Levit. Igor Levit, Life. Sony Classical.