This and That

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Albeniz,Brahms,Chopin,Kapustin,Moszkowski,Scarlatti,Strauss II and Gershwin
LABELS: Galton Concert Productions
WORKS: Piano works by Kapustin, SScarlatti, Albéniz, Moszkowski, Chopin, Brahms, Strauss II and Gershwin
PERFORMER: Benjamin Grosvenor (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 700123

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Benjamin Grosvenor, who came to prominence at the age of 11 when he won the piano section of the BBC Young Musician of the Year contest, is now 18, and can no longer count as a child-prodigy.

But since this CD was recorded when he was 16, youth still comes into the equation, and prodigious his talent undoubtedly is. This CD was made for an online music club, which means, as Grosvenor points out, that it had to appeal to listeners with diverse tastes, but the selection of pieces reflects his own.

He brings a juicy, jazzy brilliance to the opening Kapustin etude, and a seductively light swing to the third: he’s very much an entertainer, with a virtuosity which allows him to tackle Cziffra’s volcanic reworkings of Brahms and Strauss II comfortably.

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But he seems as much at home in the watercolour intimacy of Scarlatti’s famous D minor K141. In the Chopin Nocturnes, dreamy grace is followed by intense turbulence, but the Albeniz pieces are under-characterised. If this disc has a fault, it’s that the overall tone is too uniformly silky, but it still makes for a delightful hour. Michael Church