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Piano Music of the XXth Century

DUTILLEUX (Trois préludes)
BARTÓK (En plein air)
SCHOENBERG (Trois pièces pour piano)
BOULEZ (Douze Notations)
MESSIAEN (Etudes de rythme)

IVES (Sonate pour piano n.2 "Concord. Mass. 1840-1860")
TREMBLAY (Deux pièces pour piano)
JOLAS (Deux pièces pour piano)

Roger Muraro (piano)

Accord 2CD 480 0862

This pianist who specialises in contemporary music has a huge discography with Accord ranging from the complete Messiaen piano works to Tchaikovsky's first concerto. This latest is a tribute to Claude Hellfer, and it bids fair to be my piano recording of the year.

From a French perspective, Muraro has chosen key works of the century, from France, Germany and America, and they make for a fascinatingly varied but coherent programme. Critics no longer can obtain scores so easily as in the past for review purposes, so I am in no position to examine any of these interpretations in detail. However, the recording quality is superb and Muraro conveys a feeling of confidence and reliability which belies the difficulty of most of this music.

The notes brought together by Bruno Serrou incorporate Muraro's own thinking and make for good reading (not always so for liner notes with contemporary music CDs). But they are compromised by the blight of the over-enthusiastic arts editor - here grey over-printing which makes reading the small print hard without strong light and magnifying glasses for those of us without perfect young eyes...

Muraro was a saxophonist first; prize-winning pianist second. I found no credit for the flutist who comes in briefly at the end of the Concord sonata; did Muraro play it himself? I'm sure he'd have found that no problem...

Peter Grahame Woolf