New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Pianist Jeremy Denk's new album, c.1300-c.2000, is out now on Nonesuch Records. The double album captures a program of works spanning seven centuries that Denk created and performed at venues including Lincoln Center, Wigmore Hall, and Piano aux Jacobins. "The history of so-called classical music felt closer to me now than it did when I first learned about it in college, not just more relevant, but more alive. Wouldn't it be amazing, I wondered, to experience this sweep and arc in one sitting?" For that program, Denk performed twenty-four pieces by composers ranging from Machaut to Ligeti—with Binchois, Gesualdo, Stockhausen, Philip Glass, and many others in the middle.
The resulting album, c.1300-c.2000, is available now on iTunes, Amazon, and the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders include an instant download of the complete album; it can also be heard on Spotify and Apple Music.
"A piano recital covering 700 years of music: by most accepted definitions, that ought to be not just an oxymoron but an impossibility," says the Telegraph. "But the usual barriers fall whenever Jeremy Denk is at the keyboard ... Quite exhilarating."
"Full of contrast and surprise, this is a richly personal gallery of sound," says the Observer.
"Life, of course, runs in cycles," says NPR, "and Denk's c.1300-c.2000 lets us know that music—with its special powers of creation, expiration and restoration—does, too."
Denk says in the liner note, "You might call this album a version of time-lapse photography, which brings us from the 1300s to the present day in a series of sonic snapshots. I was aiming for a healthy mixture of light and dark, of optimism and pessimism." He continues, "To find a foothold, I started in the medieval era with two threads: the secular, and the religious. Worldly love, and love of God. At the same time, I felt it was essential to deal with a more purely musical love: the art of counterpoint, a foundation of the long story to come. If you don't care about counterpoint, you should. It is music's superpower, something it can do that no other art form quite can."
Jeremy Denk is one of America's foremost pianists. Winner of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, and the Avery Fisher
Prize, Denk was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He begins a three-week tour of the US with Academy St. Martin
in the Fields later this month and performs at Wigmore Hall in London in mid-March.
Denk is known for his original and insightful writing on music, which Alex Ross praises for its "arresting sensitivity and wit." The pianist's writing has appeared in the New Yorker, New Republic, Guardian, and on the front page of the New York Times Book Review. One of his New Yorker contributions, "Every Good Boy Does Fine," forms the basis of a book for future publication by Random
House in the US, and Macmillan in the UK.
Denk's previous Nonesuch releases include an album of works by Beethoven and Ligeti and a recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations with accompanying video "liner notes."