April 6, 2023
'Exceptionally brilliant' Nimrod Borenstein's new recording

Wonderful reviews have greeted the latest album dedicated to the music of Nimrod Borenstein, led by pianist Clelia Iruzun, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and I Musicanti on Somm Recordings. The album features Borenstein's new piano concerto (conducted by the composer), the set of piano miniatures Shirim (a word meaning both 'songs' and 'poems' in Hebrew), and his piano quintet Light and Darkness based on the writings of Stefan Zweig.

Germany's OpusKlassiek enthused, in its review, "The compositions of Nimrod Borenstein are, across the board, irrespective of genre, exceptionally brilliant, multicoloured and cleverly constructed...(his) music has an overwhelming effect thanks to its unique cachet... Repeated listening yields more and more dimensions... In that sense, Borenstein has mastered the same 'art' as his great British colleague Thomas Adès and the Scotsman James MacMillan; the embrace of the old and familiar, but as no more than a starting-point for a strictly personal musical discourse... with Borenstein, Adès and MacMillan it is 'beauty revolution'."

Gramophone wrote, "This album provides an excellent opportunity to hear three recent works by Nimrod Borenstein... the scoring (of the quintet) is exquisite... warmly recommended." Gramophone also featured one of the Shirim as its "Video Of The Day".

The High Arts agreed, concluding, "a highly rewarding album with some exceptional music-making. The Concerto for Piano alone is a work that should be welcomed in the contemporary repertoire. Clélia Iruzun performs magnificently, and I would love to hear more artists interpret it."

Planet Hugill calls the piano concerto "an elegant work, where the complex, filigree writing for piano stays in the memory", the quintet "imaginative and fascinating... lovely." 

In its positive review, International Piano noted, "Borenstein's technique depends on bold contrasts in texture and colour, for example setting a sparklingly ornamented piano line over soft string tuttis, or blasting apart a calm musical environment with crashing percussion. His music is melodic and tonal, though he regularly pushes against the boundaries of tonality..."

And The Arts Desk suggests, "Looking for an entertaining, melodic contemporary piano concerto? Start here", and notes that the Shirim are "witty and affecting by turns", and as for the quintet, "it’s a musical attempt to capture the sense of a long life lived to the full, peaks and troughs included. Anguish and ecstasy co-exist, the work lasting little more than nine minutes, and as with the concerto, the fluency really serves the music, the piano never overwhelming the string quartet." 

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