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Liszt: Années de pèlerinage

Années de pèlerinage 1ère année, Suisse; 2ème année, Italie;3ème année (7 pieces)

Daniel Grimwood (Erard piano 1851)

SFZM0208 (CD - 2 discs)

These are stunning discs of music by one of my unfavourite composers. The effect of these works heard on a splendid Erard of 1851 will give everyone enjoyment and pause for thought. The piano "combines a silky mid-range with delicate, bell-like high notes and a bass of tremendous power". Listen to the Petrarch Sonnets as you've never heard them before.

This is an important double-disc which helps to support our conviction that the future for romantic, classical and pre-classical keyboard music lies with musicians who explore them on good period instruments, which should bring new insights even to those who prefer to stick by modern Steinways, as do many celebrity pianists and their audiences...

See the details, and collected reviews at http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/sfz%2Bmusic/SFZM0208
and buy !


Chopin on Erard

24 Preludes, Op. 28
Prelude Op. 45 in C sharp minor (No. 25)
Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57
Barcarolle in F sharp major, Op. 60
Nocturne No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 9 No. 2
Nocturne C minor Op. post

Daniel Grimwood (Erard Piano 1851)

sfz music: SFZM0210

For this recording, the Erard piano has been completely reconditioned and tuned to the Bach-Lehmann temperament, giving it greater depth in the bass, clarity in the treble, and evenness across the whole range.

Grimwood writes his own notes which puts the programme into a historical perspective during a period when "no instrument tolerated such accelerated development as the piano" and he discusses "the inseparable equation between instrumental sonority and musical conception" and Chopin's own writing for the instrument he knew.

Grimwood is a multi-instrumentalist (viola as well as all keyboards) and his diversity of experience preserves spontaneity, which comes across in this absorbing Chopin recital; not so smoothly perfect as some competitors in the field, but a disc which brings you far closer to the composer and his world of sound than do many others.

Peter Grahame Woolf

Blumenfeld & Rachmaninov


Daniel Grimwood's latest recital CD does full justice to Rachmaninov's first sonata, about which the composer had serious misgivings, and makes a strong case for his friend Felix Blumenfeld, which he came across whilst cataloguing a collection of scores of music by composers "some familiar, soeme forgotten, Blumenfeld the most inexplicably neglected".

Grimwood's account of the latter's Sonata-Fantasia Op 46, the peak of Blumenfeld's piano oeuvre, completely vindicates that judgment; "marked by dramatic, at times frenzied, quality which heralds Rachmaninov and Skryabin" [Richard Beattie Davis].

The recording is superb and the production has fine notes by Grimwood and Davis, put together stylishly by designer Adam Woolf (my trombone/sackbut player namesake featured in Mardi Brass).

This disc will be in the shops on 1 March but is already available from the SFZ website


See also Musical Pointers' review of the latest release of cello sonatas with Grimwood's partner, Jamie Walton; Signum - SIGCD172.