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Daylight Music – Piano Day: Ivan Ilić presents The Book of Sounds

Ivan Ilić presents The Book of Sounds, a rare performance of Hans Otte’s minimalist masterpiece.
Written between 1979 and 1982 after a multi-day retrospective of his entire opus, The Book of Sounds is Hans Otte’s attempt to wipe out his own history. The result is 70-minute long piece of a “luminous, magical quality”, full of floating harmonies and arching structures; a moment of pure meditation made hauntingly beautiful by the unresolved union of major and minor chords. The piece retains Cage’s influence on Otte, but “the initial impression is like a moment of Debussy snatched from the air and extended, or a fragment of Erik Satie, compressed or filtered to create something new.” (Musicweb International).
Serbian-American pianist Ivan Ilić enjoys a unique place in today’s musical landscape thanks to his unconventional repertoire and multifaceted approach. Defined by The New Yorker as “a pianist of penetrating intelligence and pellucid technique”, he combines performing with writing, producing, and drawing upon interdisciplinary experiences. His eclecticism is reflected in his musical projects, which range from the notoriously difficult Chopin/Godowsky studies, to the delicate abstraction of Morton Feldman, to his most recent enterprise: the rediscovery of music by Beethoven’s Czech friend and contemporary, Antoine Reicha. Ilić’s rendition of Otte has been described as “smooth as flowing water, with a great evenness of tone and rhythm—his playing rang, and it also shined with a warm, penetrating light.” (New York Classical Review)

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