Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
Concerto for Piano, left hand, and Orchestra in D major (1929/30)
The Bulgarian National Symphony, Boris Spassov, conductor
Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915)
Nocturne, Op. 9, No. 2 (1895)
Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921)
Six Études pour la main gauche seule, Op. 135, No. 1 (1912)
Frédéric Chopin (1810-49)/
Leopold Godowsky (1870-1938)
from:18 Studies on Chopin Etudes, No. 5 in D Flat Major ("For The Left Hand Alone") on Étude in E Major, Op. 10, No. 3
J. S. Bach (1685-1750)/arr. Johannes Brahms (1833-97)
Chaconne (Study No. 5) (1879)
JOÂO CARLOS MARTINS: MUSIC FOR PIANO, LEFT HAND
LABOR RECORDS REISSUES RENOWNED BRAZILIAN PIANIST’S RECORDING OF RAVEL CONCERTO, BACH/BRAHMS, GODOWSKY/CHOPIN AND MUSIC BY SCRIABIN AND SAINT-SAENS.
João Carlos Martins, the great Brazilian pianist who completed his 15-volume, 19-CD set of recordings of the complete clavier works of J.S. Bach in 1998, has just reissued an album of music for piano, left hand, including Ravel’s masterful concerto for piano, left hand, the Brahms arrangement of the Bach D minor Chaconne, originally written for unaccompanied violin and Godowsky's Study No. 5 in D flat major on Chopin's Etude Op. 10, No. 3 in E major. The album also includes a Scriabin Nocturne and Six Etudes for left hand by Camille Saint-Saens.
In early 2000, after years of battling injuries sustained during an assault in Europe and followed by surgery at the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Martins was partially deprived of the use of his right hand. In September, 2000, with the third finger of his right hand immobilized, Martins recorded an album of Haydn and Mozart sonatas on a CD that was issued in Brazil in 2002. Two months after this, his condition worsened, resulting in permanent atrophy of his right hand.
However, for João Carlos Martins this was not the end, but rather the beginning of a heroic quest. In June 2001, he started his major project of recording the entire pianistic oeuvre for the left hand, then initiated worldwide with the launching of this CD.
Using his left hand, João Carlos Martins was determined to continue the path of a human being whose spiritual strength had never faltered and who fought, with astonishing skill, for the same hopes and ideals that had thus far guided his life and his career. But all hopes were dashed after a further blow in 2002 when a tumor was discovered in his left hand finally ending his career as a performer. A book about this remarkable life entitled “Conversations with Martins” by noted author and pianist David Dubal (author of “Conversations with Horowitz”) was published in 2001.
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