Shani Diluka on “Road 66”

Norman Lebrecht, the noted British musical critic, selected Road 66 as the “recording of the week” while the “Folle journée de Nantes” piano festival made the disk its official CD. Indeed, this new recording stands out for the intelligent selection of the works, their wonderful interpretation… and the enchanting, beautifully coloured voice of the Bechstein piano.

With this new CD, Shani Diluka follows the legendary Route 66 that crosses the US from east to west, playing works by John Adams, Samuel Barber, Amy Beach, Leonard Bernstein, John Cage, Aaron Copland, Alberto Ginastera, Keith Jarrett and others. In the booklet, quotes from On the Road, the famous novel by Jack Kerouac, are printed near the titles to render Diluka’s personal musical road movie.

The German music critic Oswald Beaujean recently wrote in the BR-Klassik magazine: “Although nowadays impassable on many portions, Route 66 still embodies a glorious past and attracts numerous tourists and nostalgia addicts. The atmosphere on this legendary track is perfectly rendered by the melancholy feel of Road 66, the new CD by the excellent young pianist Shani Diluka. Eighteen works by fourteen American composers wonderfully merge and take us through seventy minutes of meditative reverie. Some could find such a merging quite affected in the way it suppresses the distinctions between Phil Glass, George Gershwin and Bill Evans, for example, but that would not do justice to the artist, for the eighteen titles were carefully selected and sorted so that the result is not a soulless melting-pot, but rather a compilation of widely varying musical styles that harmoniously follow on each other.

The CD was recorded in September 2013 at “Maison de la musique de Nanterre” on a C. Bechstein D 282 concert grand provided by Philippe Destrouesse, a piano tuner who was in the studios during the recording to meet the very stringent demands of Shani Diluka.