Maccunn/Mcewen/Mackenzie

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Maccunn/Mcewen/Mackenzie
LABELS: The Divine Art
WORKS: Six Scotch Dances; Valse; On Southern Hills; Four Sketches; Sonatina; Keats Preludes; Trois morceaux
PERFORMER: Murray McLachlan (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 2-5003 DDD
The tiny concert hall at Strathgarry House, deep in the Perthshire hills, where this recording was made, has a wonderful acoustic for live chamber music. Unfortunately, it has not transferred elegantly to the medium of compact disc. The sound is boxy and, combined with a less than marvellous instrument, the result is rather too like an amateur recording of the school piano competition.

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A pity, for Murray McLachlan has a sure touch in this collection of unknown miniatures, whether lolloping through the rather bland Scotticisms of Hamish MacCunn’s Scotch Dances, drifting into the impressionistic world of John McEwen, or relaxing into the comfortable Romanticism of Alexander Mackenzie. What intriguing music! I would like to hear more, but preferably in a recording that can do it justice. Christopher Lambton