Rubbra: Piano Music (complete)

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

LABELS: Dutton
WORKS: Piano Music (complete)
PERFORMER: Piano Music (complete)
Here is an example of a record company getting everything right. An outstanding artist playing worthy yet neglected repertoire in beautifully recorded sound. Rubbra was not, perhaps, an ‘important’ composer, in that he blazed no trails and was broadly eclectic in his approach, but his piano music is almost unfailingly attractive and beautifully crafted. Predominantly contrapuntal but never academic, it has echoes of Bach, Chopin, Fauré, Hindemith, even Mompou, yet much of it also suggests the English ‘pastoral’ tradition of Finzi and Howells. Ranging from 1928 to 1982, it was never intended, of course, to be heard at a sitting and the best way of getting to know it is to hear it, as it was written, in several instalments.


It would be hard to imagine a more congenial, sensitive and perceptive advocate of this music than Michael Dussek, whose innate musicality and instrumental command are evident from first note to last. Everything is natural, nothing is forced, and the blend of lyricism, contrapuntal clarity and the underlying harmonic rhythm is exemplary. And the recorded sound is so perfectly matched to the spirit and texture of the music that it must be counted as an act of interpretation in itself. Jeremy Siepmann