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Two very well-filled discs here, captured live in the excellent acoustic of Manchester’s new Stoller Hall. A student of Lennox Berkeley, McLeod’s piano music dates from 1980 (Four Impromptus, written while still under Berkeley’s tutelage) to 2013. McLachlan is no stranger to McLeod’s music: a 1999 disc on Redbook Records included the first and third piano sonatas.

McLeod’s Hebridean Dances (performed with Rose McLachlan, Murray’s daughter) wear their geographical origin firmly on their sleeve, while his Twelve Preludes reveals formal mastery overarching the set. Haflidi’s Pictures (after Haflidi Halgrimsson) comes into competition with Mark Tanner; both, ideally, should be sought out.

The second disc comprises McLeod’s five piano sonatas (1978-2013) plus the Fantasy in McLachlan’s transcription. From the Liszt- influenced First through the Third (quoting a mass by Scottish Renaissance composer Robert Carver) to the cyclic, magnificent Fifth and the exploratory Fantasy, this is impressive music, persuasively performed.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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