From the very first notes of the Mussorgsky I knew that this was going to
be an exceptional performance. I was proved to be right. The clarity of the
playing was crisp and well articulated and, what was so refreshing and welcome,
was the pianist's excellent judgement of tempi which is one of the
secrets of a successful performance of this heterogeneous work. The skill
and technique is undeniable and, although I have known this inspiring work
for 40 years the detail that Boyde reveals is quite astonishing as are the
superlative nuances he achieves. The linking Promenade is not played
as if the visitor to the gallery is bored but enthusiastic; some may carp
about Bydlo being heavy but what I also enjoyed was the pianist's
confidence in the music; he is not ashamed or embarrassed about the composer's
'wrong notes' . He has an enviable ability for light and shade and is totally
convincing. The Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks sizzles remarkably
... one can but admire his pianistic skills.
I waited with some apprehension for the final movement The Bogatyr Gate
at Kiev which, because of the unhurried nature of the grand tune, can
sound hesitant and unconvincing as, indeed, can the Catacombs movement.
But I should not have worried. His wise use of pedal notes and contrast was
so good that I felt I had heard this for the first time. He displays much
insight into this piece; it is carefully thought out and all the better for
The Ravel pieces are far more pianistic and call for all and every constituent
facet that a truly great performer needs. In addition, we have in Andreas
Boyde a very mature performer but his performances are never dull or those
of a tired or mechanical player. It is only after hearing his account of
Oiseaux Tristes that I discovered how amazing this piece is. Any artiste
that can convey that level of communication coupled with such consummate
skill and breathtaking ability is destined to become famous and rightly so.
He is already a brilliant star. His command of the piano is staggering!
Readers may be interested to know that Andreas is to premiere a new work
in New York in October ... Schumann's Variations on a theme of Schubert.
The recording quality is excellent. The range from pp to
fff is wide.
A superb disc in every way!