Professor Edmund Battersby has re-released a recording of “Franz Schubert: Shorter Works For Piano,” on the Schoodic Sound digital label.
The project comes from a program Battersby put together for the Musical Heritage Society in 1978, as homage to the 150th anniversary of Schubert’s death. It was recorded in Sage Hall at Cornell University on an Imperial Bösendorfer Concert Grand that the university acquired from Paul Badura-Skoda at the behest of pianist and fortepianist Malcolm Bilson.
The compilation includes 11 different works that cover a range of styles that are hallmarks of the composer, some with unusual histories. For instance, Fünf Klavierstücke is really the composer’s first sonata, the lone Diabelli Variation was written for the same publisher who requested a variation from 50 composers, with Beethoven very lately and sarcastically responding with 33. The main offering of this disc is Schubert’s Drei Klavierstucke, an acknowledged posthumous masterpiece, some believing another set of Impromptus left unfinished.
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Throughout the course of an international career as pianist, orchestral soloist, chamber player and teacher Edmund Battersby has earned the highest praise from his audiences, critics and colleagues alike. American Record Guide claimed that his landmark recordings of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, on modern and period instruments, put him, “in the company of Brendel, Serkin, Schnabel and Pollini.” His many CDs for Musical Heritage Society, Naxos, Koch, and others over the years, have been noted impressively, the 1992 Grammy Short list for Goyescas of Granados among them. Battersby’s digital re-release of Mendelssohn’s complete “Songs Without Words” on the Schoodic Sound label, was a “Sleeper of the Year” for WNCN Magazine in 1982, the artery for what was then the premiere classical radio station of New York City. The 2012 Schoodic Sound digital re-release of his iconic Musical Heritage Society recording, “The Early Romantic Piano”, performed on a Rodney Regier replica of an 1834 instrument by Conrad Graf, was warmly received by Fanfare Magazine. “This is simply a beautiful recording that should be heard by everyone.” (Dubins) Schoodic Sound has just released his Musical Heritage Society recording; Franz Schubert: Shorter Works for Piano and will release the newly recorded complete Iberia by Isaac Albeniz later in 2013.
Battersby gained the admiration of Olivier Messiaen, George Crumb, George Rochberg, Elliot Schwartz and William Bolcom in live and recorded performances directed by the composers. He has played recitals worldwide, most notably in London, New York City and Washington, DC, and has performed with conductors such as McGegan, Schwarz and Schuller, with orchestras ranging from the Indianapolis Symphony to Pittsburgh Symphony. A frequent guest at the Library of Congress in our nation’s capital, Battersby has performed on their series with the Vermeer Quartet and elsewhere with the Tokyo Quartet and the Orion Quartet. Festivals featuring him in solo or ensemble capacity include Mostly Mozart, Santa Fe, Seattle and La Jolla. He has given master classes at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin, Dublin Master Classes the Hochschule fur Musik in Leipzig, Princeton, Rutgers and Duke Universities as well as Indiana University Bloomington where he has been a member of the artist-faculty of the Jacobs School of Music since 1995. During the summer of 2013, he will give Master Classes at the Euro Arts Festival in Halle, Germany and in Dublin, Ireland for the inaugural season of the new Dublin International Piano Festival. Edmund Battersby is the Artistic Director of Harbor Music, the Artur Balsam Chamber Ensemble Classes for Piano and Strings, supported by Indiana University Foundation since 1999.