Moonlight Sonata
Moonlight Sonata
Moonlight Sonata

TH-71995

Paul Bissacia, piano

  1. Adagio sostenuto [5:48]
  2. Allegretto [2:17]
  3. Presto agitato [6:35]
  4. Für Elise [2:57]
    Sonata Op. 27 no. 2 ("Moonlight")
    Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)


  5. Funérailles [11:23]
  6. Etude in D-Flat ("Un Sospiro") [5:54]
  7. Liebestraum no. 3 [4:52]
  8. Czárdás Obstiné
    Franz Liszt (1811-1886)


  9. Etude in E Op.10 no. 3
  10. Etude in A-flat major Op.25 no. 1
  11. Etude in C minor (Revolutionary) Op.10 no.12
    Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)

  12. Etude-Tableaux in C Op.33 no.2
  13. Prelude in G minor Op.23 no.5
  14. Prelude in C-sharp minor Op.3 no.2
    Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)

  15. Sevilla
  16. Tango
    Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909)

  17. Ritual Fire Dance
    SegudillasManuel de Falla (1876-1946)

About the music:

In many ways Beethoven can be considered the first Romantic pianist. He broke all the rules in the name of expression and in doing so changed forever the way pianists conceive the piano. Before Beethoven the hands were held close to the keyboard. The sounds of the keyboard were polite and tasteful. But Beethoven was a wild man who snapped strings and broke hammers all in order to fulfill his titanic conception. His performances had emotional depth, charisma and unprecedented power.

Franz Liszt was a Beethoven disciple (having studied with Beethoven's pupil Carl Czerny) and Liszt took the idea of artistic expression to its highest level. With Liszt the Romantic era of piano playing reached its summit. Every composer who wrote for the piano after Liszt was indebted to him and certainly the music of Rachmaninoff and Albeniz show obvious Lisztian influences - in fact Albeniz was a student of Liszt.

The other great Romantic poet of the piano was Chopin. Liszt learned a great deal from Chopin and the Chopin Etudes (dedicated to Liszt and to Liszt's lover, the countess Marie D'Agoult) are indispensable for any pianist. Chopin once wrote in a letter "Liszt is playing my etudes and transporting me out of my respectable thoughts. I should like to steal from him the way to play my own etudes."

My own teacher, Luiz de Moura Castro studied at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest and was a student of a student of Liszt. I might add that Moura Castro himself has been instrumental in continuing the Romantic piano traditions established by Liszt in both his teaching and concertizing. It is inspiring to play this music with the realization that it is all interconnected and as I perform this music in the 21st century, I can trace the connection back to the tradition of the Romantic piano that began with the heroic music of Beethoven.

--Paul Bisaccia, New York City

Paul Bisaccia is one of the most entertaining pianists performing today, with fans and critical acclaim on four continents. He has made a particular specialty of the music of George Gershwin, although his repertoire and musical interests are wide ranging. He was the first artist to record the complete solo piano music of Gershwin and his PBS television special "Gershwin by Bisaccia" has been broadcast throughout the U.S. and seen by millions. The program was also dubbed into Mandarin Chinese for broadcast in Asia. The American Record Guide says, "For Gershwin interpretations Bisaccia wins hands down." Popular recording and cabaret star Michael Feinstein reacted to Bisaccia's Gershwin television program by saying "How wonderful! It just proves that talent always prevails in these times of mediocrity."

Bisaccia is a protégé of renowned Brazilian pianist Luiz de Moura Castro and is a summa cum laude graduate of the Hartt School of Music where he ranked highest in his graduating class. He made his European debut at age 17 and has returned to perform in Romania, in Germany, to participate in the International Symposium on Musical Interpretation in Spain, and to perform in Switzerland and Rome. He has also made several performance tours in South America and Asia.

In the United States Bisaccia has been featured on NPR's Performance Today and in showcase performances for the American Liszt Society. He was invited by the Virgil Fox Society to perform the Rachmaninoff 2nd Piano Concerto with Peter Richard Conte playing his transcription of the orchestra part at the historic Wannamaker organ in Philadelphia. This was only the second private concert at this space in 75 years. His music is also featured in the acclaimed Ric Burns television documentary "New York". He has become the most frequently requested pianist by listeners of beethoven.com and his most recent special for Public Television, "Paul Bisaccia and the Great American Piano" has been hailed by the critics as "another sure-fire winner."

Recording engineer Fabio Witkowski
Photos - David Morse
Cover design - John Alves
Layout - Raymond Albright

Paul Bisaccia is represented by
Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists