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Pierian’s booklet notes are right to assert that to call this salon music is to trivialise it, but nevertheless, that is where it lies – it just happens to often transcend the genre in its superior construction and mode of thought. The disc selection (G&T recordings, made in 1901) have also been transferred on APR records (The Piano G&Ts Vol 3, APR5533). There, Bryan Crimp’s transfers make a good case for this endeavour. They display less congestion than Pierian’s; APR’s Air de ballet enables us to get more of a sense of the suave heart of Cécile Chaminade’s playing. The Danse créole comes off better in the Pierian version, with more detail audible.

The Duo Art piano rolls were prepared and recorded by Denis Hall. One can hear how Chaminade took dance forms into her personal style (the Gavotte, for example). There is some overlong salon music here (the third Valse brillante), but the enterprise as a whole remains laudable.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2012 - ©Rhinegold Publishing