Jul 12

Benjamin Grosvenor – Chopin, Liszt, Ravel (2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Digital Booklet | 1.15 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Highresaudio | Label: Decca

Chopin Liszt Ravel is the debut album from the incredible Benjamin Grosvenor. Decca Classics’ new signing made his name as an 11 year old prodigy when he performed at the BBC Young Musician Final, (narrowly missing out to winner, violinist Nicola Benedetti). Still only aged 18, Benjamin has burst onto the performance scene. His debut album, Chopin Liszt, Ravel is out this July.

Benjamin is due to receive nationwide media attention when he performs at the First Night of the Proms, which will be followed by a BBC Breakfast News appearance. He will also tour this season with the National Youth Orchestra (and play at their BBC Prom) showing his relevance and support to young classical musicians today.

Composer: Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, Maurice Ravel
Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor

Reviews:

If you don’t believe the critical accolades praising 18-year-old pianist Benjamin Grosvenor’s astonishing command of the instrument and vivid interpretive gifts, you will when you’re done listening to this disc. His supple, light-fingered, playful, and imaginatively characterized Chopin Scherzi count among the best. Fanciful nuances, inner voices, and unexpected rubatos fall from Grosvenor’s sleeves like rabbits from a magician’s hat, yet these gestures enhance rather than dissipate Chopin’s structures.

The three Nocturnes are brisk but not rushed, and feature eloquently spun, gorgeously shaded, perfectly proportioned right-hand melodies. Both Chopin/Liszt song transcriptions stand out for exquisite, amazingly even filigree that yields nothing in finesse and control to Josef Hofmann’s 1935 HMV test pressings, and that’s the ultimate compliment! In contrast to pianists who play Liszt’s sparsely-textured late pieces in a gloomy, bleak manner, Grosvenor almost throws En rêve away.

Grosvenor’s gentle animation, delicacy, precision, and ravishing tonal palette set reference standards for those attracted to the underlying classicism in Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit, despite a few clipped and undersold climaxes in the Scarbo movement. For edgier, more subjective and demonically tinted Gaspards, go to Argerich and Pogorelich, but Grosvenor’s approach is on par with (and indeed sometimes surpasses) Simon, Schuch, Bavouzet, and Michelangeli. A remarkable release no piano lover should miss.

Tracklist:

Frédéric Chopin (1810 – 1849)
1. Scherzo No.1 In B Minor Opus 20 8:18
2. Nocturne No.5 in F sharp, Op.15 No.2 3:11
3. Scherzo No.4 In E Opus 54 9:59
4. Nocturne No.19 in E minor, Op.72 No.1 4:02
5. Scherzo No.3 in C sharp minor, Op.39 6:41
6. Nocturne In C Sharp Minor, Op. Posth. 3:46
7. Scherzo No.2 In B Flat Minor Opus 31 9:12
8. My Joys, Op.74 No.12 (arranged as No.5 of “Six Chants Polonais” S.480) 3:22
9. The Maiden’s Wish, Op.74, No.1 (arranged as No.1 of “Six Chants Polonais” S.480) 3:39

Franz Liszt (1811 – 1886)
10. En reve, nocturne, S.207 2:19

Maurice Ravel (1875 – 1937)
Gaspard de la nuit, M.55
11. Ondine 6:35
12. Le gibet 5:30
13. Scarbo 8:41