Jean Sibelius-Compositions for Piano[CD]
~ Heidi Saario
Jean Sibelius - Compositions for Piano was released in March 2008. The CD consists of solo piano works by a Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957). Sibelius is famous for his compositions for the orchestra, such as Finlandia, Violin concerto and seven Symphonies. It is not the piano pieces that come first to mind when his name comes up. Sibelius, however, did write piano music throughout his career although his own instrument was violin. There are over a hundred solo piano pieces that have been published. Sibelius' piano works are relatively short and they are usually compiled into collections, each incorporating 5-10 pieces. They also most often have characteristic names that convey a particular mood. All the pieces on the CD Jean Sibelius - Compositions for Piano are originally written for solo piano and they are not arrangements of works written for any other instruments. The goal for this recording was to find a selection of pieces that would include some better known pieces such as The Spruce Tree and Romance in D flat Major, as well as lesser known pieces that are beautiful. Heidi's playing on this recording has been praised to have a "dynamic range of expression that runs from rippling fine sounds of a brook to the thunderous chords of a storm". Heidi Saario was born in Helsinki, Finland, and moved to Toronto in 2002. She started taking piano lessons at the age of four. Her professional studies took place at the Helsinki Conservatory and she graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree. In Toronto, she studied with Leslie Kinton at the Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music and graduated with a Masters Degree in Performance and Pedagogy. Heidi has performed as a soloist and a chamber musician both in Finland and Canada. In the last couple of years her focus has been on Scandinavian repertoire. Heidi's solo and collaborative performances take her continuously into many communities across Ontario as well as other provinces in Canada. Aside from performance, Heidi maintains a busy private studio in Toronto and teaches piano for all ages and levels. This CD was recorded at the CBC studios in Toronto. The piano used for the recording is a 9-foot Steinway that interestingly enough used to belong to a famous Canadian pianist Glenn Gould.
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