This CD is published by the English-born Australian composer
himself in collaboration with CD Baby.come.
At only 30 minutes in length it is clearly intended as a sampler,
and the programme notes, subtitled "Teachers, Music Analysts,
Reviewers", reveal its primary audience.
The slimline digipak-style case is rather lacking in detail.
There is no booklet as such; instead a paragraph of biography
on the back cover and brief but adequate programme notes printed
straight onto the glossy card - with a handful of typos dotted
about the place. The composition dates given above come from
Cochran's own useful archives.
No recording details have been provided, although a few minor
audience noises off and at one point a passing aeroplane confirm
a live recording, presumably edited down for this sampler. Rather
surprisingly, there is no mention of the performer either, but
it is Cochran himself. As a pianist he has a reputation
as a fine improviser, and some of that comes through in this
recital of pieces that frequently sound extemporised (in a good
way). In any case, Cochran brings easy virtuosity and countless
degrees of nuance to his own music in this recital.
Cochran's music itself is impressive, not so
much for its originality - pace the notes, these pieces
could have been written at any time in the last century - but
for the jaunty, folkish rhythms, eastern or southern European
harmonies and memorable lyricism. At an average of only three
minutes a piece, with patchy indication as to whether these
are stand-alone items or movements from larger works, no great
depths of pathos are visited here, but Cochran's music
will have the same broad public appeal as that of Sergei Bortkiewicz,
with whose equally concise piano pieces his have much in common
- see this review
of the excellent fifth volume of Bortkiewicz's complete
piano music, recently released by FC-Records, for comparison.
Cochran's titles are suggestive, but relatively unimportant
- all these pieces are cut from the same cloth. Yet that is
not to say they are unimaginative or samey - far from it. The
notes refer to "the great regard Cochran has for the piano
tradition of Liszt, Balakirev, Ravel and Prokofiev", and
anyone sharing that sentiment is virtually certain to derive
aural pleasure from Cochran's music, not to mention his
Sound quality is good, the piano tone appealing. A few of the
tracks come to an abrupt-sounding end, with the sudden intrusion
of digital silence - presumably to edit out applause - but the
effect is minimal.
Collected reviews and contact at reviews.gramma.co.uk