D’albert: Piano Sonata in F sharp minor; Eight Piano Pieces, Op. 5; Serenata; Capriolen; Piano Pieces, Op. 16/2 & 3

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: D’albert
LABELS: Hyperion
WORKS: Piano Sonata in F sharp minor; Eight Piano Pieces, Op. 5; Serenata; Capriolen; Piano Pieces, Op. 16/2 & 3
PERFORMER: Piers Lane (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 66945
If d’Albert’s music were more important, I would give this disc an ‘outstanding’ award, for Piers Lane surpasses himself and the recorded piano sound is delicious. Eugen d’Albert, born in Glasgow in 1864 of German and partly French parents, studied in London under Arthur Sullivan, then settled in Germany. He was one of the great pianists of his day, and like many of his contemporaries he composed as a matter of course. His Sonata is massively Brahmsian, almost like a transcription of organ music. Brahms again hovers over some of the Op. 5 pieces. Yet anyone who thought up titles like ‘Cosy Waltz’ and ‘Missie-Massa’ can’t have been without a sense of humour, and ‘The Circus is coming!’ makes a brilliant, pithy ending to a programme that has its longueurs, but also many pleasures. Adrian Jack

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