The Serbian-American Paris-based pianist has signed a new multi-album recording contract with Chandos Records, following internationally acclaimed recordings of Godowsky and Feldman. His first project under the label will be a series devoted to the solo piano works of Czech composer Antoine Reicha, a contemporary and lifelong friend of Beethoven.
Although best known for his contributions to wind quintet repertoire, Reicha wrote vast quantities of solo piano music, most of which is unrecorded. The manuscripts, kept in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, were published only recently.
Including premiere recordings of the Grande Sonate in C, the Sonate in F and its variations on a theme from Mozart's Magic Flute, and Three Excerpts from Practische Beispiele, the first volume will be released in September 2017. The works confirm Reicha as an authoritative, singular voice, whose piano works complement and enrich our understanding of Haydn and Beethoven. Volume 1 is a coproduction between Chandos, Swiss Radio RTS, and the Palazzetto Bru Zane – Centre de Musique Romantique Française in Venice.
Ivan Ilić said: 'As an adolescent in California I often borrowed CD's from the public library. One of my favorites was Louis Lortie's recording of Chopin Etudes on Chandos, from 1986. The sound was so warm, the playing so natural. I could not have imagined that 25 years later I would record for Chandos. It is especially gratifying that our collaboration will begin with a Reicha series, as his substantial opus for piano is long overdue for a revival.'