A treasure island of piano music — Spiegel Online
The Grand Piano label continues to uncover gems of the piano repertoire. — Fanfare

FRIEDMAN, Ignaz (1882-1948)



  • Joseph Banowetz, piano

Polish pianist Ignaz Friedman was one of the leading virtuosos of his day but was also a composer and a master transcriber. Friedman’s transcriptions are both a delight for the listener and a challenge for the performer, and his creative imagination gives these delicious, charming and moving works a life of their own, introducing pianistic effects both breathtakingly bravura and disarmingly subtle while remaining faithful to the originals.


Bach, Johann Sebastian
Flute Sonata in E-Flat Major, BWV 1031: II. Siciliano (arr. I. Friedman for piano) (1734) (00:02:16)
Rameau, Jean-Philippe
Pièces de clavecin: Suite in E Minor: V. Le rappel des oiseaux (arr. I. Friedman for piano) (1724) (00:03:05)
Les Indes galantes: Musette (arr. I. Friedman for piano) (1736) * (00:02:07)
Gluck, Christoph Willibald
Orfeo ed Euridice, Act II: Dance of the Blessed Spirits, "Mélodie" (arr. I. Friedman for piano) (1762) (00:04:12)
Field, John
Nocturne No. 5 in B-Flat Major, H. 37 (arr. I. Friedman for piano) (1817) * (00:05:03)
Franck, César
6 Pieces for Organ: No. 3. Prelude, fugue et variation in B Minor, Op. 18, M. 30 (arr. I. Friedman for piano) (1864) (00:09:09)
Dalayrac, Nicolas-Marie
Nina, ou La folle par amour: Romance (arr. I. Friedman for piano) (1786) (00:03:13)
Dandrieu, Jean-Francois
Le Caquet (arr. I. Friedman for piano) () (00:01:39)
Pièces de Clavecin, Book 1, Suite No. 4: Les Fifres (arr. I. Friedman for piano) (1705) (00:02:40)
Scarlatti, Domenico
Keyboard Sonata in G Major, K.523/L.490/P.527 (arr. I. Friedman for piano) (1757) (00:02:53)
Keyboard Sonata in F Major, K.446/L.433/P.177 (arr. I. Friedman for piano) () (00:05:44)
Gluck, Christoph Willibald
Don Juan: Gavotte (arr. I. Friedman for piano) (1761) * (00:04:17)
Couperin, François
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 5th Ordre in A Major-Minor: La Tendre Fanchon (arr. I. Friedman for piano) (1713) (00:03:53)
Grazioli, Giovanni Battista
Adagio (arr. I. Friedman for piano) () (00:11:08)
Gluck, Christoph Willibald
Orfeo ed Euridice: Ballet des Ombres Heureuses (arr. I. Friedman for piano) (1762) (00:04:01)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:05:20

The Artist(s)

Joseph Banowetz

Grammy®-nominated American pianist Joseph Banowetz has been heard as recitalist and orchestral soloist on five continents, with performances with such orchestras as the St Petersburg Philharmonic, the Moscow State Symphony, the Prague and Bratislava Radio Orchestras, the Budapest Symphony, the Barcelona Concert Society Orchestra, the New Zealand Symphony, the Beijing National Philharmonic, the Shanghai Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the Seoul Philharmonic. Banowetz is also well known as an author. His book The Pianist’s Guide to Pedalling (Indiana University Press) has to date been printed in seven languages. He is a graduate with a First Prize from the Vienna Akademie für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, and his teachers have included Carl Friedberg (a pupil of Clara Schumann) and György Sándor (a pupil of Bartók).

The Composer(s)

Johann Sebastian Bach Johann Sebastian Bach belonged to a dynasty of musicians. In following inevitable family tradition, he excelled his forebears and contemporaries, although he did not always receive in his own lifetime the respect he deserved. Despite widespread neglect for almost a century after his death, Bach is now regarded as one of the greatest of all composers. Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis numbers, abbreviated to BWV, are generally accepted for convenience of reference.
François Couperin, known as le grand to distinguish him from an uncle of the same name, was the most distinguished of a numerous family of French musicians, officially succeeding his uncle and father as organist of the Paris church of St Gervais when he was 18. He enjoyed royal patronage under Louis XIV and in 1693 was appointed royal organist and, belatedly, royal harpsichordist. As a keyboard player and composer he was pre-eminent in France at the height of his career. He died in Paris in 1733.
Organist from 1705 at the church of St Merry in Paris, the French composer and harpsichordist Jean-François Dandrieu, member of a musical family, was in 1721 appointed an organist of the royal chapel. Earlier he perhaps deputised for his uncle Pierre Dandrieu, priest and organist at St Bartélemy, where Jean-François was later buried.
Although Field wrote seven piano concertos and a series of chamber compositions for piano and strings, his chief claim on posterity lies in his eighteen Nocturnes.
César Franck Born in Liège in 1822, César Franck was originally intended by his father for a career as a virtuoso pianist. In Paris his nationality excluded him at first from the Conservatoire, where he eventually failed to achieve the necessary distinction as a performer, turning his attention rather to composition. In 1846 he left home and went to earn his living in Paris as a teacher and organist, winning particular fame in the second capacity at the newly built church of Ste Clotilde, with its Cavaillé-Coll organ. He drew to himself a loyal and devoted circle of pupils and in 1871 won some official recognition as the nominated successor of Benoist as organ professor at the Conservatoire. A man of gentle character, known to his pupils as ‘Pater seraphicus’, he exercised considerable influence through his classes and performances although he remained, as a composer, something of an outsider in a Paris interested largely in opera.
Jean-Philippe Rameau Rameau was the leading French composer of his time, particularly after the death of Couperin in 1733. He made a significant and lasting contribution to musical theory. Born in Dijon, two years before the year of birth of Handel, Bach and Domenico Scarlatti, Rameau spent the earlier part of his career principally as organist at Clermont Cathedral. In 1722 or 1723, however, he settled in Paris, publishing further collections of harpsichord pieces and his important Treatise on Harmony, written before his removal to Paris. From 1733 he devoted himself largely to the composition of opera and to his work as a theorist, the first under the patronage of a rich amateur, in whose house he had an apartment.
Domenico Scarlatti Sixth of the ten children of Alessandro Scarlatti, Domenico Scarlatti was born in Naples in 1685, sharing his year of birth with Handel and J.S. Bach. After an earlier period in Italy he moved to Portugal, and thence to Madrid in the service of the Infanta Maria Barbara, after her marriage to the Spanish Infante. He remained in the service of Maria Barbara after her husband’s accession to the throne and died in Madrid in 1757. He is chiefly known for the large number of short sonatas he wrote for the harpsichord, many of them for his royal pupil and patron.


“Throughout this collection of transcriptions, our appreciation is aided immensely by Joseph Banowetz’s almost serendipitous understanding of the period’s style. Perhaps the most timeless selection on the CD is the Siciliano from a Bach flute sonata, which opens the album. Here everything seems to have fallen into place in the arrangement without a wasted note. Banowetz’s rendition of it is exquisite, evoking the great pianist-composers of Friedman’s time.” – Fanfare

“Everything is lovingly and passionately performed by Joseph Banowetz on a Steinway D concert grand piano in a recording made in the Trinity Lutheran Church in Buffalo, NY. The sound captures the full tonality of that fine instrument in an ideal space. ” – Fanfare

“Banowetz plays this music with affection and understanding, and with a strong technique that does not call attention to itself—no “playing to the gallery” here either. His legato playing and control over dynamics, as well as his balancing of chords, make this a most refined listening experience.” – Fanfare

“This rewarding album can be enjoyed from two perspectives: first as a lovely program of sensitive transcriptions, and second as a historical record of how the modern era of the grand piano approached a much earlier era when the organ and harpsichord dominated. …Warmly recommended.” – Fanfare

“Fine recording, good notes, and playing of notable expertise.” – American Record Guide

“…stunningly well played and phrased throughout. …the piano sound is extremely well captured and the playing is fantastic. The music sustains interest throughout.” – MusicWeb International

“The famous American pianist, Joseph Banowetz, displays his ability to charm the ear with the utmost delicacy.” – David Denton