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A Night at the Opera
LISZT Concert Paraphrase on Verdi's Rigoletto; Reminiscences of Bellini's Norma
Mélodie from Dance of the Blessed Spirits (Orfeo ed Euridice)
CHOPIN Variations, op. 2, on 'La ci darem la mano' from Mozart's Don Giovanni
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, arr. RACHMANINOV The Bumble Bee, from Tsar Saltan
GRAINGER Ramble on the last love duet in Der Rosenkavalier
BUSONI Chamber Fantasy on Bizet's Carmen
Isoldes Liebestod, from Tristan und Isolde
Fantasy on 'The Last Rose of Summer'
Soirée de Vienne, op. 56 - Concert Paraphrase on Waltz Motifs from Die Fledermaus
Anthony Goldstone (piano)
St John The Baptist Church, Alkborough North Lincs, 2008; 2005 (Busoni).
DIVINE ART DDA25067 [79.27]
Experience Classicsonline

There has been a steady flow of Divine Arts CDs from Anthony Goldstone often partnered by Caroline Clemmow. This is the latest and here he appears solo.

In splendidly assertive sound there is no mistaking the grand manner. It's a mantle that Goldstone assumes with an aristocratic flourish. Those two words apply resoundingly to the superbly paced Rigoletto paraphrase. Sgambati and Goldstone seem to conspire in the gentle fragility of the Mélodie from Gluck Blessed Spirits. The bejewelled Chopin-Mozart variations may well be familiar from the version with orchestra but here it shines in poised finery. Rachmaninov and Rimsky provide an excuse for Goldstone to set the Bumble Bee skimming irately along at breakneck speed. Grainger's Strauss Ramble is a delightfully complex skein of sentimentality, grandiloquence and those so-familiar silver-dripping notes. Back to Liszt for yet more panache in the Grand Fantasie - Norma Reminiscences. Busoni is a much more serious proposition in the Carmen Chamber Fantasy in which the work's pianola-like mechanistics combine irresistibly with the vaguest hint of a smile. Along the way Goldstone delivers some superbly judged shadowy-misty textures - a miracle pulled off with consummate and evidently natural skill. Liszt's Liebestod transcription seems thicker and less successful to me until the grand-statement of the love theme at 4.10. More successful is Mendelssohn's Fantasy on The Last Rose of Summer. This is suitably sentimental with its Celtic skirl and light melancholy. A fond farewell is bid with Alfred Grünfeld's Soirée de Vienne in which play is made with waltz motifs from Fledermaus and other concert dances by the Royal family of the waltz.

The package is completed with a sure-footed essay from Goldstone. Thankfully this is not short on specifics. The effect is completed with de luxe production values for the whole package.

Rob Barnett


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