CD originating from artistic development project

Magnificent reception of CD originating from an artistic development project

In January, piano lecturer Søren Rastogi released a CD together with cellist Janne Fredens with rarely performed music from the period 1911-1919 by four female composers: Henriette Bosmans, Dora Pejacevic, Nadia Boulanger and Lili Boulanger. The album is part of an artistic development project at the Academy (“FOKU project”), where Rastogi seeks out overlooked music by female composers.

The album has been extremely well received internationally and has achieved 350,000 plays on Apple Music 3 months after its release. It has already received a gold medal and the special distinction “Best of Show” at the Global Music Awards March 2024. In addition, it was the Album of the Week on DR P2, also in March, and it has been presented in podcasts on Bayerische Rundfunk (Germany) and Romania Musical (Romania).

Great reviews

Reviewers from around the world have also expressed enthusiasm:

“I must commend artists Janne Fredens, cello, and Søren Rastogi, piano, for their extraordinary musicianship and artistic dedication in devoting their time and effort to bring us this wonderful disc of rarely heard (…) sonatas for cello and piano.” (Jerry Dubins, Fanfare / US)

“The performance by Janne Fredens and Søren Rastogi [is] darkly colored and assertive in spirit. Strongly recommended.” (Peter J. Rabinowitz, Gramophone / UK)

“The ominous, weighty piano chords and emphatic cello line beginning Upheaval immediately proclaim that Janne Fredens and Søren Rastogi mean business. If the up-close intensity of the sound is confronting at first, it soon proves well suited to this chamber duo repertoire, taking us into the heart of two little-known cello sonatas.” (Rebecca Franks, BBC Music Magazine / UK)

“Viele Nuancen in den Interpretationen machen diese Aufnahmen zu einer sehr reizvollen Zusammenstellung.” (Antje Rößler, Klassik heute / DE)

“The husband and wife duo Janne Fredens and Søren Rastogi devote their full attention to this recording. …With a young cello and a Bechstein Concert Grand, they use instruments that allow for intense tonal moments, but above all allow for subtleties of interpretation in the expressive passages.” (Pál Körtefa, Pizzicato / LU)

See more examples and longer quotes here.

Danish reviewers have also given the album some good words:

“Janne Fredens and Søren Rastogi have opened a gate with this album, wholeheartedly in terms of gender politics and superb in the musical performance.” (Valdemar Lønsted, Information)

”The album that makes life more approachable. A thousand thanks, I say – both for the music, the presence and the “new” melodies in an understandable language. To conclude: It’s a fantastic album.” (Rachel Einarsson, Classical Bureau)

“It’s an excellent release, especially because of the duo’s ability to play together and the cello sonata by Bosmans, but it’s a matter of taste – listen for yourself, because it can hardly be done better than here. I am impressed by people who set out to do their best for the sake of others, and therefore I send a big thank to Fredens and Rastogi: You have brought forgotten and overlooked music to life – it is beautifully done!” (Jens Carl Sanderhoff, POV International)

The album was produced by Mette Due and released on OUR Recordings. The recording took place in Lille Sal, Musikhuset Aarhus, and Pianoteket has sponsored the Bechstein grand piano that was used for the recording.

The music can be found here:

Read more about the FOKU project (in Danish) here.

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