Already about two weeks after the initial release, Ralph’s newest CD, with piano studies by Erik Lotichius, has just been chosen as CD of the Month by Opus Klassiek!
The first reviews on the newest CD-release with music by Erik Lotichius have just come out, and they are very positive. Reviewer Aart van der Wal writes at OpusKlassiek: ‘In this release, Van Raat demonstrates his great affinity with this music, in a both musical and technical flawless style. [...] You have understood it: this is a striking release that you cannot let pass by‘. Dominy Clemens writes at Music-Web International: Ralph van Raat originally recorded some of Anaitalrax in 2001, and his affinity with these pieces leaps out of your speakers from the start. His virtuosity is unclouded by haste and uncalled for extremes of display, and the music has more than enough content to speak for itself. In the booklet, producer Dirk Fischer talks us through the interesting challenge of setting up a recording of music that has little or no performance tradition, but Van Raat’s colourful playing is captured superbly and the whole thing is yet another demonstration-class production, fully in agreement with Fischer’s final philosophy that, in the end, it is the music that counts above all technical considerations.’
The newest (double-)CD in Ralph’s series of Dutch music releases has just been released: the complete Anaitalrax (retrograde of Scarlattiana) by composer Erik Lotichius (1929-2015). It’s Ralph’s 25th commercially available CD! Composed from 1983 to 2013, these are 25 virtuosic piano studies that fuse the structures and harmonies of the classical masters from Mozart via Ravel to Bartók with the freedom of jazz and and the rhythmical pulse of the American minimalists. Recorded by the German label Solaire, it is available now through their website (with some audible samples) and through Amazon!
Throughout the week from August 14 to 18, Ralph has been invited by Radio 4 to share remarkable or memorable events in his career, and to play the associated musical work afterwards. Daily from ca. 14.30-15.00 hr local Dutch time!
Ralph’s recent CD-release with Theo Loevendie’s piano music received two new reviews this week. One of them was published in newspaper ‘Leeuwarder Courant’, describing Ralph’s playing as ‘thorough, cheeky, full of detail and occasionally joyfully daring’. Monthly CD-magazine ‘Luister’ gave the CD a 9/10 rating and concluded the review with ‘Van Raat, to whom Loevendie dedicated a work, wrote the program notes and he offers an excellent introduction to the work of this underrated composer’.
Last October, Ralph did his first performance of Tan Dun’s highly successful new Concerto for Piano Solo, Peking Opera soprano and Orchestra, Farewell My Concubine, with the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of the composer. Ralph subsequently has been invited to perform the piece with the Macao Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand’s Auckland Symphonia, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra during the past months. Performances have been broadcasted by the Chinese national TV (CCTV) and Australian television networks. Quoting reviews: “This was a sonic feast in itself; Van Raat’s fingers fluently evoked a century of contemporary idioms” (New Zealand Herald, Feb. 2, 2017); “For Dun, the best instrument to represent the King was the grand piano, which was wheeled centre stage, to be played with deep feeling and the lightest of touch by Ralph van Raat, another musical athlete who at one stage climbed onto the stool to reach over and hit the lowest note” (Limelight Magazine Australia, Febr. 6, 2017); and “Van Raat’s impressive feat of playing his major role entirely from memory” (The Straits Times, April 22, 2017).