The Sound of Black and White

Raffi Besalyan

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Original Recording Format: DXD
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For his second release at NativeDSD, following the album The Return, Pianist Raffi Besalyan and Sono Luminus bring us The Sound of Black and White. The album includes a world premiere recording of Oscar Levant’s jazzy Sonatina.

Besalyan says “This program is a loving tribute to Aram Khachaturian, the towering musical figure from my native Armenia and to George Gershwin, the musical genius from my adopted home, the United States. These two composers are bridged here by the phenomenal pianist/composer and Hollywood superstar, Oscar Levant. Some of the works on the album have been my loyal recital companions since childhood, the others have become such upon my immigration to America as a young adult.” 

The Stereo DSD 256 & DSD 512 editions of this album are exclusively available at NativeDSD.

Raffi Besalyan – Piano

Tracklist

1.
Masquerade Suite - I. Waltz
03:56
2.
Spartacus - Adagio - Arr. M. Cameron for Piano
08:33
3.
Piano Sonatina in C Major - I. Allegro giocoso
01:50
4.
Piano Sonatina in C Major - II. Andante con anima, rubato
03:03
5.
Piano Sonatina in C Major - III. Allegro mosso
03:41
6.
Gayane - Excerpts, Arr. O. Levant for Piano - Lullaby
04:32
7.
Piano Sonatina - I. Con ritmo
03:28
8.
Piano Sonatina - II. Andantino poco mosso
04:21
9.
Piano Sonatina - III. Allegro deciso
03:04
10.
7 Virtuoso Etudes After Gershwin - Excerpts - No. 2, Somebody Loves Me
03:00
11.
7 Virtuoso Etudes After Gershwin - Excerpts - No. 7, Fascinatin' Rhythm
01:48
12.
7 Virtuoso Etudes After Gershwin - Excerpts - No. 4, Embraceable You
03:17
13.
7 Virtuoso Etudes After Gershwin - Excerpts - No. 3, The Man I Love
02:50
14.
3 Preludes for Piano - No. 1, Allegro ben ritmato e deciso
01:31
15.
3 Preludes for Piano - No. 2, Andante con moto e poco rubato
03:35
16.
3 Preludes for Piano - No. 3, Agitato
01:20
17.
Rhapsody in Blue - Version for Solo Piano
15:41
18.
Gayane - Excerpts Arr. O. Levant for Piano - Sabre Dance
02:24

Total time: 01:11:54

Additional information

Label

SKU

DSL92249

Qualities

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Channels

Artists

Composers

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Genres

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Analog to Digital Converters

Horus (recording) & Hapi (mastering), Merging Technologies

Executive Producer

Collin J. Rae

Financial Support

Thanks to Georgia State University for partial financial assistance of this recording project

Mastering Engineer

Daniel Shores

Original Recording Format

Piano Technician

John Veitch

Producer

Dan Merceruio

Recording Engineer

Daniel Shores

Recording Location

Recorded at Sono Luminus Studios in Boyce, VA on September 14-19, 2020

Recording Software

Pyramix, Merging Technologies

Speakers

Mixed and mastered on Legacy Audio speakers

Release DateJuly 23, 2021

Press reviews

NativeDSD Senior Reviewer

A great one, for sure. Super recording!

All About The Arts

This recording of solo piano works by Aram Khachaturian, Oscar Levant, Earl Wild, and George Gershwin features the superb Armenian-American pianist Raffi Besalyan here in his second album for Sono Luminus. It is a memorable album from an exceptional pianist.

Listen to Besalyan’s handling of the Cuban-inflected “clave” rhythms and the choo-choo train humor that Gershwin so inventively injected into his Rhapsody in Blue. Check out Besalyan’s dazzling agility in I Got Rhythm. His laid back, leisurely stride of the left hand in the Three Etudes, and his rippling arpeggios in Embraceable You and in the Debussy-influenced The Man I Love.

The protean technique of this formidable pianist is put to use in all the music heard in this album, as he commands all the intricacies of Khachaturian’s concert, incidental, and dance music, and the awesome challenges of Earl Wild’s 7 Virtuoso Etudes After Gershwin.

Besalyan’s interpretive gifts comfortably encompass the classical and the salon worlds in a truly memorable album from Sono Luminus.

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