Since his 2014 victory in BBC Young Musician of the Year competition, Martin James Bartlett has built a considerable international reputation. Love and Death, with its imaginatively conceived programme, gives proof of his artistic range.
"I'm absolutely thrilled to have signed with Warner Classics and to release my debut album Love and Death,” he says. “These are two elemental themes that have inspired breathtaking masterpieces from poets and composers for centuries. My album will feature gloriously beautiful music by Bach, Schumann, Wagner, Liszt and Granados, culminating with an impassioned and fiery 'War' Sonata of Prokofiev and I can't wait to share it with everyone."
In creating the programme, Bartlett’s starting point was Liszt’s transcription of Schumann’s passionate song ‘Widmung’ (‘Dedication’), set to a poem by Friedrich Rückert. “It is a love song that also speaks of death,” he explains, “and it concludes with a quote from Schubert’s Ave Maria, introducing the idea of heavenly love.” These themes are explored throughout the album. ‘Widmung’ will be the first track from Love and Death to be released on all streaming platforms in March.