Present Arts On CD

Dvorak – Legends

This serene and instantly accessible music is beautifully recorded and packaged by the French label, Melism, with the CD itself even having a proper sleeve and a booklet that includes Anna Zassimova’s own oil paintings…

Mozart – Piano Concertos

When Mozart arranged these three early concertos for piano quintet, it was a smart move. It enabled him to show his prowess as an innovative keyboard player to patrons who could not afford a full band and to perform with gifted (but wealthy) amateurs in a normal salon…

Mozart – Piano Sonatas Vol. 4

There is something splendid about Peter Donohoe, known for decades as a fine exponent of the biggest and most rowdy of twentieth century concertos, coming back late in life to Mozart’s sonatas…

Montgeroult & Viotti

We either owe a lot to, or can blame a lot on, Giovanni Battista Viotti, depending on your perspective. Viotti was the first major virtuoso to adopt what we now think of as the modern bow and to adapt his style to accommodate it, moving away from baroque practice…

Florence Price

All the pieces here except the first Fantasie Nègre were only discovered in 2009, 54 years after the composer’s death, in Price’s summer house in St. Anne’s, Illinois, and so add considerably to the catalogue…

Divina

As an example of the triumph of content over packaging this album is prime. Forget the kitsch cover, the inaccurate name and the truly garish graphic design. Once you turn it on, there is superb period instrument playing by this thoroughly serious and accomplished ensemble…

Rachmaninov

The LSO has made many distinguished recordings of this symphony over the years but this is up with the best of them; beautifully recorded in SACD sound that completely belies its origination in a pair of concerts at The Barbican in 2019…

Burning Through The Cold

It is appropriate, in a way, that a disc which has music full of hidden or clouded meanings should have a title and be by artists with a name that is mildly baffling. I assume, because it is not explained in Wolfgang Stähr’s excellent accompanying essay, that Burning through the cold refers to the years of Stalin’s Soviet Union, during which the Shostakovich and Babadjanian works were written…

Variations: Piano

I am always lost in admiration for Clare Hammond’s playing. She seems to have invincible fingers and can tackle anything a composer throws at her…