horizontal line

Neglected 20th-century British piano music has found a dedicated performer in Mark Bebbington, who is currently recording the complete works of both Arthur Bliss and John Ireland for the Somm label. The first instalment of the Bliss collection features a broad sweep of the composer’s repertoire, including premiere recordings of Valses Fantastiques, Intermezzo and May-Zeeh. Of greatest interest is the Valses Fantastiques, clearly influenced by Ravel, who Bliss later met in Paris. This collection is thoughtfully programmed, and full of contrasts. May- Zeeh, for example, is a charming waltz, penned before the First World War, an experience that would inform Bliss’s subsequent body of work, including the Suite (1925), featured here; the solemn Elegy written to commemorate the composer’s brother, Kennard, who died during the conflict. The disc was recorded at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and the sound is vividly captured.

CLAIRE JACKSON Read the full review on Agora Classica

   Read full review   

To continue reading, please upgrade to a premium account. You will have immediate full access.

Read more classical music reviews online here:

Piano International, 2012 - ©Rhinegold Publishing