Concert pianist Caroline Oltmanns, professor of Piano at Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music, released her fifth album on the Filia Mundi label.
The album, titled Venezia e Napoli and available through iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and CD Baby, showcases a water-themed narrative from Debussy’s Images I to Liszt’s Années de Pèlerinage/Venezia e Napoli to Beethoven’s 7 Bagatelles op. 33.
Recorded in Frankfurt, Germany, by engineer Udo Wüstendörfer, Venezia e Napoli was captured in two days on a German Steinway concert grand piano. Wüstendörfer is also the recording engineer for the largest German classical music station, Hessischer Rundfunk. Oltmanns and Wüstendörfer had previously known one another and renewed their friendship while recording the album.
“It’s a water album with lots of old world charm,” Oltmanns said. “The album title is obviously based on Liszt’s work, Venezia e Napoli (Venice and Naples). I particularly like the feeling of Italy Liszt creates – lovely, but dark. I was also drawn to Debussy because of the water in his pieces. ‘Reflets dans L’Eau’ (Reflections in the Water) and maybe even ‘Mouvement’ (Movement) encapsulate water’s motion for the sake of motion—a true expression of joie de vivre.”
An International Steinway Artist, Fulbright Scholar and recipient of the Stipendium der deutschen Wirtschaft, Oltmanns holds degrees from the Staatliche Musikhochschule Freiburg and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
The album includes these selections: 1-3 Claude Debussy – Images I Reflets dans L’Eau Hommage à Rameau Mouvement 4-6 Joseph Haydn – Sonata in E-flat major Hob. XVI:49 Allegro Adagio e cantabile Finale. Tempo di Minuet 7-9 Franz Liszt – Années de Pèlerinage/Venezia e Napoli Gondoliera Canzone Tarantella 10-16 Ludwig van Beethoven – 7 Bagatelles op. 33 E flat major. Andante grazioso, quasi allegretto C major. Scherzo allegro F major. Allegretto A major. Andante C major. Allegro, ma non troppo D major. Allegro, quasi andante A flat major.