Bengt Forsberg performs Neglected Works for Piano by Kaprálová, Beach, Carwithen, Aulin, Almén, Bacewicz, Tailleferre and Crawford Seeger

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COMPOSERS: Almén,Aulin,Bacewicz,Beach,Carwithen,Crawford Seeger,Kaprálová,Tailleferre
LABELS: dB Productions
ALBUM TITLE: Neglected works for piano
WORKS: Works by Kaprálová, Beach, Carwithen, Aulin, Almén, Bacewicz, Tailleferre and Crawford Seeger
PERFORMER: Bengt Forsberg (piano)


It is an accurate title, but ‘neglected works for piano’ gives little clue as to the breadth and imagination of this beautifully played CD. The well-paced programme features seven composers (all women), whose music makes, as Bengt Forsberg says in his sensible foreword, ‘purely a collection of good and interesting music’.

And it is the variety and quality of the music he’s uncovered, from finely-crafted salon miniatures to pieces of visionary depth, that make this disc stand out. Forsberg opens with Vitezslava Kaprálová’s April Preludes, Op. 13, works of restless energy written three years before her untimely death in 1940 at the age of 25. He brings the same silvery brilliance and characterful depth to this music as to Dorween Carwithen’s Sonatina of 1945-46, a three-movement piece with a still, magical Debussy-esque Adagio

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There are several premiere recordings. Valborg Aulin’s Feuille d’album (1889)and Valse élégiaque (1892) are wistful salon pieces, played here with grace and elegance. The real find is Swedish composer Ruth Almén’s Sonata in B minor, a work of Brahmsian turbulence and soulful simplicity. Then it’s on to Grazyna Bacewicz’s spiky, playful Sonatina (1955) and Germaine Tailleferre’s charming Trois pastorales (1919-28). Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Andante Mystico prelude (1920s) makes an enigmatic conclusion.


Rebecca Franks