James Behr | Behr Plays Behr Plays Chopin

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Behr Plays Behr Plays Chopin

by James Behr

James Behr, praised by The Boston Globe as "a demon pianist," performs his "Rhapsody Tableaux" & Chopin's B minor Sonata (1st Prize for recording excellence, Bradshaw & Buono International Competition).
Genre: Classical: Piano solo
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Rhapsody Tableaux, Pt. 1
6:59 $0.99
2. Rhapsody Tableaux, Pt. 2
4:09 $0.99
3. Rhapsody Tableaux, Pt. 3
3:36 $0.99
4. Rhapsody Tableaux, Pt. 4
6:00 $0.99
5. Sonata #3 in B Minor, Op. 58: 1. Allegro Maestoso
9:45 $0.99
6. Sonata #3 in B Minor, Op. 58: 2. Scherzo: Molto Vivace
2:53 $0.99
7. Sonata #3 in B Minor, Op. 58: 3. Largo
9:05 $0.99
8. Sonata #3 in B Minor, Op. 58: 4. Finale, Presto, Ma Non Tanto
5:36 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"A demon pianist" - THE BOSTON GLOBE • "Beautiful, sweeping" - OUTER CRITICS CIRCLE


James Behr began work on "Rhapsody Tableaux" following the loss of his stepfather, Leo Breslau, a gifted artist whose works are displayed throughout the U.S.. The word Tableaux (in French, “picturesque scenes”) was chosen to honor Mr. Breslau and reflect Rhapsody, a series of musical vignettes. In this work with moods ranging from jazzy to profound, Behr creates a uniquely American musical tableaux. Rhapsody follows a sonata-allegro form, opening with a melodic idee fixe that becomes the work’s foundation. This idee fixe is revisited in varying moods. A pulsating second theme follows the introduction, which, says the composer, “brings me to the streets of New York” (where he lives). Passages follow, ranging from charming to “scherzotic.” The enchanted second movement arrives with two lushly romantic melodies, followed by the misterioso third part (the development) with its haunting reprise of the idee fixe. Recapitulation comes in a finalé flowing with joyful and ragtime-ish episodes. Rhapsody concludes with driving passages of Rachmaninoff-like flair arriving at an exciting, final affirmation of the idee fixe.

CHOPIN: PIANO SONATA #3 in B Minor, op. 58 • James Behr, pianist
1. Allegro maestoso
2. Scherzo: molto vivace
3. Largo
4. Presto, ma non tanto

The Chopin B minor Sonata is a special work. It was dedicated to Madame la Comtesse Emilie de Perthuis, a piano student and friend. Such support explains how he lived and composed. He wrote it in the summer of 1844 at his seaside getaway. The circumstances are so riveting, so sad. He left Paris to ease health problems, though the dampness of the sea air likely hurt more than helped. Poor health plagued him, which is striking given the works optimistic tone amidst his chronic battle with tuberculosis. He had coughing fits so horrible that he sometimes coughed up blood. He once fainted and was found on the floor by his mistress, writer George Sand, then living with him. He never performed the sonata in public. It was a sign. He was 34, weak, and likely sensing the inevitable. He would only live another five years, yet he carried on – and what a work of genius this turned out to be. The majestic first movement is in standard sonata allegro form: first and second themes, development, recapitulation. For all its romanticism, the movement shows comfort with Classical form and Baroque counterpoint, the development section (devilish to play) displaying brilliant fugal writing – unusual for the Romantic era. The second movement, the scherzo (Italian for “joke”), is fast and fun. Its charm curiously contradicts the realities of Chopin's health issues. Its middle “trio” section is shear genius, incomparable melodicism, returning to the bubbly opening. The third movement, of his nocturne style, reflects artistic maturity and elegiac gravitas. Sandwiched within is a sentimental portion – as if Chopin was reminiscing on better days. The finale, in rondo form (ABACA…), is a sweeping work, five minutes of nonstop dazzle and glory. The exoticism of its harmonies reflects his Polish roots and originality unlike anyone before – or since.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: James Behr was hailed as “a demon pianist” by The Boston Globe and “genius composer” by InTheFray Magazine. A Juilliard graduate and first prize winner in the 2013 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition for recording excellence, he has performed throughout the U.S. on TV and radio; at Carnegie Recital Hall (Weill); Alice Tully Hall and Lincoln Center; the Ravinia, Tanglewood and Chautauqua festivals; and with many orchestras including the Virginia Symphony, Naples Philharmonic and Florida Symphonic Pops as Artist in Residence. His music for piano, orchestra, jazz, fusion rock/classical, new-age and Broadway features his unique blue-age style combining R&B, jazz, classical, and rock. His works include piano concerto Europa, Looking Back (“rock-certo”); Rhapsody Tableaux (piano), the autobiographical Suite Memoirs (new-age piano), Kaleidoscope Suite (fusion rock/classical/jazz), Prisms (jazz/nu-jazz); and Boca Suite (symphonic pops). His musicals include Dreamquest, Jungle Island, E-Love, and critically acclaimed The Count of Monte Cristo, lauded as “beautiful, romantic, sweeping” by the Outer Critics Circle. Cristo won awards from the New York Musical Theatre Festival and the West Village Musical Theatre Festival, and was performed at New York’s Bleecker Street Theater. Behr is a graduate of The Juilliard School and Northwestern University. A Steinway Artist, he resides in New York.

website: www.JamesBehr.com • GEM Studio • Recorded on a Steinway D
James Behr is a Steinway Artist

© Rhapsody Tableaux 2012 by james Behr. All Rights Reserved.



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