100 Transcendental Studies, Nos. 63–71

Fredrik Ullén (piano)

BIS Records: BIS-CD-1853 (2015)

Web page for BIS Records
Web page for BIS Records BIS-CD-1853

Cd cover image 100 Transcendental Studies, Nos. 63–71

Duration: 77:57

Comments: The fourth volume of Ullén’s complete survey of the 100 Transcendental Studies. This CD contains studies 63–71.
See Fredrik Ullén’s list of comments on most of Sorabji’s 100 Études transcendantes and a summary table of all known first performances of individual études.

Track listing

  • Track 1: 100 Transcendental Studies 63. En forme de Valse. Leggiero con desinvoltura (17:00)
  • Track 2: 100 Transcendental Studies 64. — (2:38)
  • Track 3: 100 Transcendental Studies 65. — (2:33)
  • Track 4: 100 Transcendental Studies 66. — [lascia vibrare gli arpeggi] (6:07)
  • Track 5: 100 Transcendental Studies 67. — (4:10)
  • Track 6: 100 Transcendental Studies 68. — [Sotto voce] (2:28)
  • Track 7: 100 Transcendental Studies 69. La punta d’organo. Sotto voce (25:39)
  • Track 8: 100 Transcendental Studies 70. Rhythmes brisés (4:08)
  • Track 9: 100 Transcendental Studies 71. Aria (13:14)


  • “Here, finally, is the much anticipated fourth volume of this pioneering series. The eight studies on this volume follow the by now familiar pattern; extended character pieces in Sorabji’s favorite forms, interspersed with pieces lasting just a few minutes that concentrate on specific chord formations, figuration or textures. By this point in the set, though, Sorabji had largely given up dutifully writing ‘études’, and even among these, some sound less like technical studies than others; the gorgeous No.66 for instance weaves a lovely thread of melody through shifting washes of ravishing colored harmonies, and the hair-raising No.70, ‘broken rhythms’ is a kind of jaggedly angular diabolical scherzo. The CD starts with the splendid waltz, No.63, a tremendously vital and appealing piece, strongly reminiscent of the much earlier Valse-fantaisie (though in the rather less conventionally tonal language of the composer’s mature style), and similarly demanding to be accepted into mainsteam repertorire as an example of Sorabji’s most accessible pieces of moderate length (about a quarter-hour). It ends with the beautiful Aria, a type of linearly melodic slow movement to which the composer repeatedly returned; and contains one of the larger and most impressive of the entire set, the pedal-point No.69. Like the other examples of this type of movement in Sorabji’s output, the piece sets up an hypnotic repeating note, which is then progressively embellished with chords and increasingly elaborate ornamentation, a fractal efflorescence common to the composer’s densely-textured nocturnes and variation forms.” (Records International)