In this new recording, Canadian pianist Darrett Zusko presents a program of early piano music by the distinguished Canadian composer Oskar Morawetz. The works presented here were written over a span of twenty-two years and comprise roughly half of the composer’s compositions for solo piano. Morawetz turned to the piano time and again as a composer, and favoured genres that are central to the traditional piano repertoire: suite, prelude, fantasy, scherzo, ballade, and toccata.
Rapidly establishing himself as one of today’s most electrifying young concert artists, Canadian pianist Darrett Zusko continues to garner much critical acclaim wherever he performs. « Clearly a phenom… » raves the Cincinnati Enquirer, he has been praised for having a « powerful technique and sonority » (La Presse) and « exceptional musicality and virtuosity » (La Nueva España – Spain).
Of significant importance in Zusko’s career has been his collaboration with renowned Canadian composer Harry Somers, shortly before Somers’ death. After working with Somers in Toronto, Mr. Zusko gave the premiere of his final work for solo piano. He was later invited to perform the work at the composer’s memorial, and recently finished recording it for the Centrediscs « Window on Somers » series of recordings – an ongoing mission to preserve his complete works on CD.
« Darrett Zusko…is fabulous on this disc dedicated to six sets of pieces by the late Torontonian Oskar Morawetz. The programme is a sample from different periods of Morawetz’s output, displaying a wide range of technical hurdles and dramatic shadings in a style that is never alienating for a general listener. Zusko plays with a fluency that belies the music’s complexity. It’s a beautiful tribute to a talented composer who continues to deserve our attention. »
– John Terauds, Toronto Star
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1-3. Suite for Piano
4-13. Ten Preludes for Piano
16. Fantasy on a Hebrew Theme
17-19. Fantasy, Elegy and Toccata
Darrett Zusko, piano