Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

REVIEW
RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Plain text for smartphones & printers

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Piers Lane Goes to Town
See end of review for detailed track-listing
Piers Lane (piano)
rec. June 2012, Potton Hall, Dunwich, UK
Download version: Pdf booklet; mp3, 16-bit lossless and 24/96 Studio Master 
Note: this review was also published in Download News 17.
HYPERION CDA67967 [76:08]

Hyperion have a knack for programmes such as this; for instance, I much enjoyed A Maiden’s Prayer, Philip Martin’s enchanting array of miniatures (review) and The French Album with Stephen Hough (review). Moreover, the sonics of both collections - played in a most engaging and intimate style - are well up to the high standards of the house. As usual I listened to the Studio Masters which, at £12, are slightly more expensive than the equivalent CDs. Are they worth it? Yes, past experience suggests they are, for the high-res sound on offer here is as good as it gets. Throw in an easily navigable website, cover artwork and good liner-notes and you have a very professional, well-presented package for your money.
 
Pianist Piers Lane presents an enticing selection of pieces, many of which could be categorised as light music/easy listening. That’s not to say they’re anodyne or without their challenges; indeed, even wistful little works such as Katharine Parker’s Down Longford Way require a certain discipline and sense of style if they are to be more than background music to a meal. Lane’s detailing here is exquisite, and the recording is warm and clear. The two Toccatas - one written especially for him - are crisply done, and while there’s a pleasing geniality to these scores they are not without an underlying rigour.
 
Programming is everything in such collections, and the more formal pieces are neatly interleaved with lighter, more expansive ones. John Ireland’s Ballerina pirouettes most delicately, and Lane’s judicious use of rubato ensures the music never sounds florid or self-indulgent. The poise and focus of Myra Hess’s Bach arrangement - played with symmetry and soul - is a joy to hear. Dynamics are subtly shaded and, oh, what a gorgeous, glowing piano tone. As for Mayerl’s bright-faced marigolds they nod cheerfully in the sunlight, and the lilt of the Delibes/Dohnányi waltz is a delight. Teasingly tuneful, brimming with brio and ever so slightly swoopy the latter is a real charmer.
 
Rachmaninov’s fragile Daisies highlights Lane’s expressive range, Zez Confrey’s Dizzy Fingers and Mark Saya’s Barcarolles his supple rhythms and wonderful sense of touch. Neither is overblown; indeed, the entire programme is perfectly executed and proportioned. Even the iconic A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square - so discreetly delivered - is as evocative as ever. Poulenc Bal fantôme is a pearl of a piece, small and beautifully formed, and Alec Templeton’s Bach goes to town and Arthur Benjamin’s Jamaican Rumba really do go with a swing and a sway.
 
The rest of the programme is just as seductive, from the now passionate, now gentle Tiger Tango and the dynamic contrasts of Antony Hopkins’ Variations on a well-known theme to the glittering little Arabesque by Karg-Elert and Grainger’s misty-eyed but never mawkish Derry tune. Sandwiched in between the last two is Lane’s version of Dudley Moore’s Beethoven parody, And the same to you. The irrepressible, multi-talented Moore is a hard act to follow, and while Lane is hardly a dud he’s not the impish Dud either.
 
I can’t possibly end on a note of equivocation, for this pianist’s easeful playing and generosity of spirit males this a must have for all pianophiles. Indeed, the combination of exemplary musicianship and top-notch sound adds up one of the best piano recordings I’ve heard this year.
 
Chockful of good things; Hyperion’s done it again.
 
Dan Morgan
http://twitter.com/mahlerei

Previous review: Brian Reinhart
 
Detailed track-listing 
Katharine PARKER (1886-1971)
Down Longford Way [2:34]
Alan LANE (1932-2002)
Toccata [4:31]
Anthony DOHENY (b. 1938)
Toccata for Piers Lane  [1:53)
John IRELAND (1879-1962)
Ballerina  [4:39]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)  arr. Dame Myra Hess (1890-1965)
Jesu, joy of man's desiring [4:03]
Billy MAYERL (1902-1959)
Marigold [2:58]
Léo DELIBES (1836-1891)  arr. Ernö Dohnányi (1877-1960)
Naila Waltz [7:29]
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
Daisies [2:32]
Zez CONFREY (1895-1971)
Dizzy Fingers  [1:57]
Mark SAYA (b. 1954)
Barcarolles [5:42]
Manning SHERWIN (1902-1974)  arr. Regis Danillon (b. 1949)
A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square [3:33]
Francis POULENC (1899-1963)
Nocturne No. 4 in C minor 'Bal fantôme' [1:36]  
Alec TEMPLETON (1910-1963)
Bach goes to town 'Prelude and Fugue in swing'  [3:04]
Arthur BENJAMIN (1893-1960)
Jamaican Rumba  [101]
Robert KEANE (b. 1948)
The Tiger Tango [3:20]
Antony HOPKINS (b. 1921)
Variations on a well-known theme [14:13]  
Sigfrid KARG-ELERT (1877-1933)
Arabesque No. 1 in G flat major 'Filigran' [2:57]
Dudley MOORE (1935-2002)
Beethoven parody 'And the same to you' [4:28]
Percy GRAINGER (1882-1961)
Irish tune from County Derry [3:38] 



Experience Classicsonline