Igor Levit releases first track from new album

31 July 2020
By Ellie Palmer
The German/Russian pianist releases Brahms 'Herzlich tut mich verlangen' Op. 122/10, taken from his upcoming album 'Encounter'

Igor Levit has released the first track from his highly-anticipated new album, Encounter. The pianist performs Herzlich tut mich verlangen Op. 122/10 by Brahms. The album is set for release on 11 September on Sony Classical. You can listen to the track below.


Encounter is in fact a double album including works by Bach, Brahms, Reger and Feldman. Works by Bach and Reger are based on poignant vocal compositions in which the result is a very personal recital.

In the Busoni transcriptions of Bach’s chorale preludes and the late Brahms, which are rarely heard as complete cycles, Levit assumes the role of an organist who fills vast church spaces. In Brahms Vier ernste Gesänge, he lends instrumental eloquence to overcoming the torments of fearing death.

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Elsewhere, Feldman's extremely quiet work for piano, Palais de Mari (1986), is the epitome of a sensuous, transcendental realm of possibilities.

Levit comments, "The restricted isolation in the weeks since mid-March 2020 was often difficult for me too. As an artist, however, I have never felt so free, so open in my life as on those days when I often only decided half an hour before the live stream what I would play in my house concerts."

The complete absence of routine concert activity also had its positive sides: “Being able to make music without any compulsion and spontaneously choosing works in which all questions about love and death, loneliness and the possibility of real love for others are examined, has given my piano playing a level of freedom that I had never before experienced in this form.”

Levit appeared on the cover of issue 112 of Pianist