Music Webmaster Len Mullenger



Percy GRAINGER Short pieces for piano Janine Sowden (piano). ASV CD WHL 2117 [78:00]




The reason why this album is included is that a new film about a period in the life of the larger-than-life composer, Percy Grainger, is about to reach theatres and it is likely to be as controversial as the recent film about Jackie du Pré.

This is a most engaging programme of 18 varied pieces performed with power and sensitivity by Janine Sowden. The music is described as Free Rambles dished up by Percy Grainger and that signals that you should expect the unexpected. Bach’s great organ work, the Toccata and Fugue in D minor receives the Grainger treatment and is served up in the composer’s unique flamboyant style. There is then a delightful meander through the ‘Last love duet from (Richard Strauss’s) Der Rosenkavalier.’ Grainger arranges his tour so that we may anticipate wedding bells for Sophie and Octavian as well as being reminded of the Presentation of the Rose from Act II of the opera. Tchaikowsky gets the Grainger treatment too with a humorous take on his Flower Waltz, so too does Elgar with a surprisingly straight rendition of Nimrod from the ‘Enigma’ Variations.

Additionally there are arrangements of Grainger’s own compositions including: Colonial Song and Country Gardens. Of interest to film music fans will be the inclusion of Grainger’s idea of three Gershwin mumbers: ‘Love walked in’; ‘Embraceable You’ and ‘The man I love.’



Ian Lace


Ian Lace

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