Simon Callaghan, a devoted specialist in forgotten British repertoire, tackles this varied fare with aplomb.
★ ★ ★ ★★ ...here, thanks to Harry Potter actor Miriam Margolyes’s artistry and Simon Callaghan’s excellent pianism, is Poulenc’s delightful musical response. And as I listened to this recording, I found the original drawings reappearing in my mind with all their detail intact – extraordinary. It lasts just 30 minutes, but my god does it resonate.
He gets to the very essence of each individual piece, skilfully crafting them. All the energy and ebullience is tangible.
Possibly the biggest takeaway of this release, however, is the superb artistry of Simon Callaghan. Already represented by two discs in Hyperion’s Romantic Piano Concerto series, it is a pleasure to encounter his solo work. Clearly a musician of curiosity and discernment, Callaghan’s robust piano-playing is also thoughtful, subtle and refined. I look forward to hearing whatever he does next.
The performance of the British pianist, Simon Callaghan, was sublime
...bombastic virtuosity, which Callaghan addresses with consummate ease and brilliance...luminous sonorities
One only can wonder what Simon Callaghan will turn his attention to next. Whatever it is, I’ll bet his performances will be as rapturous as those on the present CD. Highly recommended.
...Simon Callaghan played with breathtaking nuance in the extremely complex, intricate "Le Jardin parfumé" by Kaikhosru Sorabji.
Callaghan makes the case... with flair and conviction.
The handful of recordings that already exist... are sent into the shadows by Simon Callaghan.
...this new CD is a gem. Simon Callaghan is a brilliant musician who stands out with the highest pianistic competence for the rarities of Scholz and Rheinberger
Callaghan has the technical wherewithal to encompass all its challenges – from big chordal textures to glistening passagework... the supremely gifted Ben Gernon coaxes terrifically colourful playing from the BBC Scottish SO.
Simon Callaghan’s interpretation was superb: absolute clarity, absolute precision. The swift straightforwardness was refreshing – no romantic relaxations here, just powerful Beethoven.
Callaghan and conductor Martyn Brabbins fashion performances that are completely idiomatic, while the fervor of the BBC Scottish Symphony is wonderful.
quick and witty pianism...such graceful technique, an acute sensibility that carries a strong awareness for the core meaning behind the work
I have nothing but praise for the performances... impressive pianism
...the highlight of the afternoon. Callaghan immediately showed with his commitment that instrument and player were in good shape
...one of the leading young British pianists with a wonderfully wide range of tone colours and a sure understanding of the structure and passion of the scores.
He throws himself into the concerto's physically taxing, Scriabinesque sound world with passion, total commitment and, it seems, heartfelt affection.
✶✶✶✶✶... lovely performances... delightful listening
Simon Callaghan was the ideal recording colleague. 100% prepared, totally unflappable, and playing with imagination, flair and colour.
He is a musician of depth and sincerity. One of the UK's finest young pianists.
...utmost elegance and an exemplarily controlled piano sound.
Simon Callaghan extracts every ounce of eloquence and fantasy from this intriguing repertoire.
Callaghan's spirited and skilful playing is impressive
Callaghan's judgement is proved spot-on, and he makes an eloquent advocate
very much a new figure, and force, in recording and performance
a musician of the highest calibre...elegant phrasing and subtle rubato
notable artistry... I look forward to more CDs from this fine player.
What a wonderful pianist, who combines complete understanding of the style of music he is playing with a rare subtlety and brilliance of execution
I was very impressed by his fluent, skilful pianism and his innate musicality. He plays with intelligence and conviction and I wish him much success in his musical career