Exiles’ Café: Music by Bartók, Chopin, Prokofiev, Martinu, Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, Weill, Korngold, Still, Bowles, Sahl, Milhaud, & Fairouz—Lara Downes, piano (Steinway 30016)
WCLV Program Director Bill O'Connell's favorite disc of the past year: "2013 was in impressive year for Steinway & Sons—at least for me. The young label gave us three of my favorite CDs of the year and they’re all by pianists: The Rascal and the Sparrow from Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Basically Bull from Alan Feinberg, and Exiles’ Café from Lara Downes. 'The miniatures collected here tell stories of the transformative passage from what is left behind to what is discovered ahead,' says Ms. Downes. She is a compelling storyteller."
The pieces on this marvelous disc were all written by expatriates, composers living away from their native country whether by choice or compulsion. Pianist Downes also says The Exiles’ Café is "a place both real and metaphorical where the travelers of the world gather to find a home away from home, a place where journeys converge and histories collide." The musical stories on this disc "speak to vanished worlds and altered lives, to the fragility of destiny and the possibilities of new beginnings: postcards from the Exiles' Café."
Originally featured Mon 3/4, Wed 3/13, Fri 3/22