MPS Oscar Peterson Exclusively For My Friends 6-LP box set
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When the world-renowned Canadian pianist Oscar Peterson came to Villingen in 1961, there was a
mood of intense excitement all round. Hans-Georg Brunner-Schwer (HGBS), former owner of the hifi
dynasty SABA, had just set up the first version of his studio, equipped with the most advanced
recording technology of the time, above the living-room in his villa. This was the bait used by the piano
enthusiast to attract the famous pianist to the Black Forest. After a guest performance in Zurich,
Peterson climbed into a limousine and embarked on a journey across the mountains. As soon as he
arrived, along with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen, the international star was led to the
Steinway grand in the living-room where a number of excited guests were eagerly waiting.
In the following years, the Canadian pianist returned again and again to the Black Forest with various
line-ups to capture his musical vision on tape. As Peterson was still under contract to Verve, the
recordings could not be released before 1968. The legendary Exclusively For My Friends series was the
first release for Brunner-Schwer‘s newly-established MPS label.
Never before had a recording captured every aspect of Peterson’s ground-breaking sound so vividly: the virtuosity and the speed as well as the delicate inspiration he brings to the subtle and reflective moments. The touch of light-hearted wit and the depth of lyrical feeling. Elegance and swing, interspersed with moments of intensity and explosive outbursts. The art of improvisation – simultaneously confident and imaginative – fuelled by harmonic and ornamental inventiveness.
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