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CD-Release “The London Connection” – Dejan Lazić

World-class playmaker takes to the field of classical piano

In his latest studio production, “The London Connection” (Onyx 4187), the Croatian piano virtuoso and composer Dejan Lazić casts fresh light on the piano literature written around 1800 with three fascinating rarities: Beethoven’s own arrangement of his Violin Concerto op. 61 and sonatas by two historical superstars of the European piano scene: Muzio Clementi and Johann Baptist Cramer.

His playing combines “strength with beauty”, The Guardian once wrote about Dejan Lazić – a description that professional football players would also like to read about themselves in the World Cup year 2018. All-round comprehension, technical perfection, passion, creative will, stamina, overall vision and intuition in the decisive moment – these are abilities that the avowed football fan Lazić brings together at the very highest level in his artistic career as pianist and composer. With his new album, “The London Connection”, this Croatian-born artist is now taking to the playing field of classical music for piano with the magic triangle Beethoven – Clementi – Cramer, all of them exceptional talents of the 19th century who have left unique traces on musical history.

From his childhood, Dejan Lazić has loved challenges, risks, venturing into barely explored or completely unknown terrain. His two Hungarian teachers, Imre Rohmann and Zoltán Kocsis, have had a decisive influence on him in this regard. For example, when he took part in the Bartók Festival for the first time, at age 11, the latter greeted him by saying that it would be decided spontaneously who would play what when. “I loved getting up in the morning and not knowing what would happen that day.” This enjoyment of creative spontaneity and surprise has now become a part of Lazić’s musical DNA. And it is apparent not only in the concert hall, but also in the selection of works for his new CD: he puts Beethoven’s Piano Concerto op. 61a, a reprehensibly neglected arrangement of the Violin Concerto op. 61 carried out by the composer himself, at the centre, flanked by piano sonatas by Muzio Clementi and Johann Baptist Cremer, who are both celebrated for their epochal collections of studies but otherwise barely registered as composers.

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