Collection: Piano Pictures

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Bowen,Bridge,Debussy,Ireland,Schumann,Sullivan,Thompson
LABELS: Fand
WORKS: Works by Peter Thompson, York Bowen, Schumann, Debussy, Bridge, Ireland & Sullivan
PERFORMER: Oliver Williams (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 101 (distr. Blumleins, tel 01730 266605)

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Oliver Williams’s nicely relaxed and flowing style suits Bowen’s gently reflective ‘The Way to Polden’, which also seems to summon mental pictures of a fondly remembered ball. The three little Sullivan pieces charm: the nostalgic, Schubertian warmth of et lui’ and the serene ripples of ‘Twilight’ bracketing the constantly changing rhythmic patterns of the czardas that is ‘À l’hongroise’. Frank Bridge’s three melodic miniatures include the beautiful and popular Rosemary.

Peter Thompson (b1955) is represented by his imaginative and colourful Marc Chagall Suite. The evocation of comb and scissors at work ‘At the Barber’s’ is both witty and vivid and his ‘Loneliness’ manages to convey a complex scenario of piety and isolation in a pastoral setting convincingly in less than two minutes. Thompson’s Bolinge Hill, subtitled ‘Reverie (on the South Downs)’ daydreams sultrily but aimlessly.

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The Debussy is nicely realised while Williams’s Papillons have their moments but lack the pathos and depth of Schumann readings by artists like Cortot or Kempff. Similarly, Williams does not have Eric Parkin’s love of, and interpretative insights into, John Ireland’s music, for often Sarnia’s beauty and depth is glossed over. A noisy pedal occasionally distracts. Ian Lace