La Scena Musicale hails Montreal-based pianist David Potvin as a rising star of 2022. As winner of the 45th Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition, he toured across Canada in the fall of 2022 with a diversely curated program of Canadian repertoire and quickly established himself as one of Canada’s most exciting contemporary pianists.

Catharsis is an album that expresses an emotional release experience, often of complex, deeply held, or repressed emotions. The experience later transforms into peace, tranquility, and, most importantly, a shift of perspective. This album’s pieces were selected on his tour across Canada, where Potvin performed music exclusively by Canadian composers. These compositions include works from Cris Derksen’s Growing Forgiveness, Keiko Devaux’s murmuration, and Jean Coulthard’s Preludes for Piano and Canada Mosaic: The Contented House (arranged for piano by David Potvin), which has never been recorded before.

The album starts with Derksen’s Growing Forgiveness, an artistic response to the tension she felt in certain relationships during the pandemic; a truly serene ending follows the piece’s driving climax. Followed by Coulthard’s 13 Preludes, they are all imbued with deep emotional expression, and over the complete set, tension peaks near the end. Then Devaux’s murmuration is not explicitly an exercise in emotional expression: pianistic gestures describe the movement of small birds moving in large flocks. Catharsis concludes the album with a piano arrangement of Coulthard’s Canada Mosaic: The Contented House, a meditative reflection that gives the listener a moment to contemplate the churning passion.

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April 19, 2024