Boundaries is a musical project dedicated to Estonian classical contemporary solo piano music. Pianist Lorenzo Meo, who's been experimenting since his very first recitals, is used to perform both traditional repertory and unknown scores. His constant interest in exploring less played pieces from modern and contemporary 20th century music, led him to approach Jaan Rääts' repertoire, whose 24 Marginalia for two pianos op.68 and Sonata op.82 for two pianos are featured on this album. As Frank Peter Zimmerman did in his recording of Prokofiev's Sonata for two violins, Lorenzo Meo's playing the two pianos in both Rääts' op.68 and op.82.
Estonian composer Jaan Rääts (born in 1932) belongs to the same historical period as Reich, Berio and Stockhausen. After studying composition with Heino Eller, he became one of the innovators in Estonian music in the 1950s alongside Arvo Pärt. Typical of his work is a seemingly neo-classical polystylism linked with contemporary composition techniques.
Concerning the two pieces recorded on this album, the 24 Marginalia for two pianos, op. 68, reflect to some extent the wealth of musical impressions surrounding us today. In an expressive manner unique to Rääts, the composer has set his marginal observations in a stylistic kaleidoscope ranging from baroque to rock.
Sonata op. 82 for two pianos is, in contrast, a piece of great breadth with clear neo-classical roots. The piece embodies all of the characteristics unique to Rääts music: high-keyed rhythm, fast pacing, obsessive and persistent repetition, alternating captivating lines and harmonies with moments of harsh and improvised dissonance.
Jaan Rääts is a professor at the Estonian Academy of Music in Tallinn. From 1974 to 1992 he was the president of the Estonian Composers Union; he as also acted as the director of national Estonian radio and artistic director in the department of music for Estonian national television.
Lorenzo Meo received a degree in piano with honours from the conservatory of Bologna. He went on to specialize at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Accademia Musicale Pescarese and Accademia Musicale Clodiense, while actively pursuing studies in composition and arrangement. Artists as Paolo Bordoni, Kostantin Bogino, Boris Bekhterev, Alexander Lonquich, Paul Badura Skoda, Salvatore Accardo and Rocco Filippini have had a major influence on him as a musician.
His piano and orchestra debut performances were Rachmaninov’s second concert and Mozart’s K491 concert. Prize winner of several international piano competition, he recorded music by Sweden composer Hilden Rosemberg in Brussels. Then he went on recording "Boundaries" (2005), "The E.P.M. Project" (2009), containing solo piano music by Estonian composers Erkki-Sven Tüür and Jaan Rääts, and later a monographic album dedicated to French composer Francis Poulenc's piano music. He's now working on a discographic project involving 20th century American composers' piano music, such as Eliott Carter, Aaron Copland and Donald Keats.