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Granados Goyescas / Danzas Espanolas

Sebastian Stanley (piano)

EMEC Discos: 105/06 [57+60 mins]

This welcome surprise Easter present from Spain, looks like an alluring DVD, but turns out to be a lavish double-CD, introducing for our readers a remarkable late-starting pianist trained at London's Royal College of Music.

We had it on the player through the festive weekend and it gave us and our guests great pleasure.

It is gorgeous music played with empathy and unshowy skill in an idiom which is not over-exposed in UK, excellently recorded on a Bösendorfer which suits the music perfectly, and packaged by EMEC of Barcelona, with full annotations of each piece by Granados specialist Walter Aaron Clark.

The composer's life and career was cut off by a German U-boat which torpedoed the ship in which he was travelling with his wife in the English Channel; he jumped out of the life-boat to try to save her...

My unreserved enthusiasm for this production was enhanced by what has recently become my now routine search for musicians' s videos. Sebastian Stanley is a joy to watch on You-Tube, where he can be seen on a Yamaha [L]; I do hope he does not succumb to the lure of becoming a registered Steinway pianist - that firm has a near monopoly of pianists and performance venues around the world !

See him playing the complex and very difficult El amor y la muerte (also, for a bonus) follow the music score on http://www.youtube.v=qiFmxPUddco) and look forward to an actual DVD from Sebastian Stanley soon !

I shall be looking out for live appearances in the London area which must surely follow this release. Meanwhile, Sebastian is a regular cruise concert pianist...

Peter Grahame Woolf