Concert pianist Caroline Oltmanns, a professor at Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music, has released her fifth album, “Venezia e Napoli” (Filia Mundi label).
The album sonically recalls the interplay between water, light and movement that is so prominent in the cities of Venice and Naples. It utilizes a water-themed narrative from Debussy’s Images I to Liszt’s Annees de Pelerinage/Venezia e Napoli to Beethoven’s 7 Bagatelles op. 33.
“It’s a water album with lots of old world charm,” said Oltmanns. “The album title is obviously based on Liszt’s work, ‘Venezia e Napoli’ (Venice and Naples). I particularly like the feeling of Italy Liszt creates — lovely, but dark. I was also drawn to Debussy because of the water in his pieces. ‘Reflets dans L’Eau’ (Reflections in the Water) and maybe even ‘Mouvement’ (Movement) encapsulate water’s motion for the sake of motion — a true expression of joie de vivre.”
Recorded in Frankfurt, Germany by renowned recording engineer Udo Wustendorfer, “Venezia” was captured in two days of intense work on a German Steinway concert grand piano.
Oltmanns had previously known Wustendorfer and the two renewed their friendship while recording the album. Wustendorfer is the recording engineer for the largest German classical music station, Hessischer Rundfunk.
The album is available through iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and CD Baby.
An International Steinway Artist, Fulbright Scholar, and recipient of the Stipendium der deutschen Wirtschaft, Oltmanns is professor of piano at YSU and has degrees from the Staatliche Musikhochschule Freiburg and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.