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Classical Pianist Elizabeth Sombart Releases 21 Track Album

The piano is a special instrument unlike any other, and when it’s treated properly, it can produce some of the beautiful sounds you’ve ever heard before. Elizabeth Sombart is blessed with the ability to bring works like the iconic “Nocturnes, Op. 9 No. 2” to life with a passionate vitality so rare in music of any genre, and in her new album Singing the Nocturnes, she lets the keys of her piano serenade us with what might be the most lyrical instrumental works of all time. It’s a masterpiece of a record, and for Chopin fans, just what the doctor ordered this chilly winter season.

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Tempo largely defines the movements with “Nocturnes, Op. 15” and the aforementioned “Nocturnes, Op. 9 No. 2,” and thanks to the smooth hand of this pianist, we’re treated to one of the most pointed renditions of these compositions I’ve heard in the last few years. She’s very delicate in her execution, but at the core of her playing style I think most connoisseurs will find Sombart’s even application of tone and rhythm in this material to be truly moving – especially when we meet a climax like that of “Nocturnes, Op. 37 No. 2-12.”

These keys are more or less an exclamation point on the precision Sombart has as a player, but they come to have a life of their own in “Nocturnes, Op. 27.” By the time we make it in the latter portion of “No. 2-8 in D-Flat Major,” it feels like we’ve just experienced an entire symphony of melodies condensed into a singular piano piece, which speaks directly to the intensity of the composition itself. This is Elizabeth Sombart’s LP, but in it lives the spirit of a legend in Chopin, whose music is still sounding as incredible today as it did well over a century and a half ago.

While all of the material presented to us in Singing the Nocturnes is of incredible quality both stylistically and sonically, there was something especially crisp about “Nocturnes, Op. 48 No. 2-14 in F-Sharp Minor” that struck me as being of near-live quality. Sombart’s passion is simply transcendent as she scales the mighty peaks of this composition, breathtakingly gathering momentum behind the melody before releasing us unto the abyss both cold and bitter as to what the future may hold. It’s emotive and powerful, and it expresses all of this without anyone uttering a single word.

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It’s a good time to be a classical music fan thanks to players like Elizabeth Sombart taking to the spotlight right now, and although she’s certainly been a fixture in her scene for some time now, she sounds all the more revitalized by the content she plays in this incredible album. Singing the Nocturnes, simply put, is a must-listen if you consider yourself to be of discriminating taste when it comes to classical, and from what I’m gathering among critics, it’s a strong consensus that Sombart’s is among the best releases to debut this January in her genre.

Samuel Pratt

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