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All three works here are dedicated to those who lost their lives in the Great War (1914-18). Ravel’s Le tombeau de Couperin in its piano version includes a Fugue and Toccata omitted from the more famous orchestral suite. Belfast-born David McGrory is a fine pianist, as his way with the limpid lines of the Fugue reveal. His sense of rhythm keeps the music buoyant.

Debussy’s Berceuse héroïque, written 1914 in support of the Belgian King Albert, holds great power here, and if McGrory does not quite dislodge Bavouzet, one must admire his deep sense of style. The Bridge Piano Sonata is magnificent, composed in memory of Ernest Bristow Farrar, Finzi’s teacher. Premiered by Myra Hess, there are already excellent recordings by Wass and Bebbington. McGrory’s gritty first movement is particularly noteworthy, although Wass penetrates more deeply in the second panel. A wonderful performance, nonetheless, supported by a good recording.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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