Join Víkingur Olafsson at 6PM CET in Facebook to watch him introduce this new project.
Víkingur Ólafsson launches his new project “Reflections” today with his world premiere recording of Hania Rani’s reimagining of Debussy’s La Damoiselle élue. The Polish pianist, composer and singer places Debussy’s sublime music within a meditative electroacoustic soundscape. Her score reiterates the opening chords of the original piece while adding bell-like piano arpeggios and gentle layers of sound colour to the mix, evoking melancholy impressions of a mysterious dreamworld.
The “Reflections” project will showcase contemporary reworks of the music of the two revolutionary French composers, Debussy and Rameau, that Olafsson released earlier this year. Ólafsson says: “I wanted to explore certain works from fresh perspectives, to reimagine them and invite other composers to rework elements of these extraordinary pieces. I’m delighted that Deutsche Grammophon agreed with me on continuing this creative conversation with Debussy, Rameau and some of today’s most imaginative musicians.”
This single will be followed by the release of four EPs, in November, January, February and March respectively, while the full album will be released on CD and LP on 12 March 2021.
Reflections will also include reworks by Ólafsson himself and by other groundbreaking artists including Icelandic singer-songwriter Helgi Jónsson, genre-defying Icelandic duo Hugar, Texas-based post-rock minimalist ensemble Balmorhea and Christian Badzura, Vice President A&R New Repertoire at Deutsche Grammophon. Interwoven with these will be Ólafsson’s previously unreleased recordings of Debussy’s Pour le piano and a selection of pieces from the same composer’s Préludes, two of which – ‘Bruyères’ and ‘Canope’ – have been recorded on both an upright piano and a Steinway to offer very contrasting listening experiences.
Víkingur Ólafsson’s original album Debussy · Rameau (2020) has already surpassed 21 million streams, bringing Ólafsson’s total streams to over 125 million and leading the Daily Telegraph to proclaim him “The new superstar of classical piano.” As well as being a major public success, the album has garnered widespread critical acclaim, including a Diapason d’Or, The Sunday Times Album of the Week, Editor’s Choice in Gramophone magazine, and Recording of the Month in BBC Music Magazine, as well as winning the 2020 OPUS KLASSIK Award for Solo Recording of the Year (piano).
Víkingur Ólafsson’s remarkable originality and powerful musical conviction have seen him, in just a few years, take the music world by storm to become one of the most sought-after artists of today. The global success of Debussy · Rameau follows that of his award-winning Johann Sebastian Bach album and its sister release, Bach Reworks, featuring reimaginings by such diverse artists as Peter Gregson, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Skúli Sverrisson. The same thread of inspiration will run through his forthcoming release, Debussy · Rameau Reflections, as Ólafsson and his fellow composers celebrate the work of two French masters and translate their musical languages into a contemporary idiom.