notable artistry... I look forward to more CDs from this fine player.
This is a particularly welcome disc of very rarely hear English piano music from around 1837-1914, and although these 80 years cover a relatively wide era of music, the stylistic character of the three composers is not so strongly contrasted. Not that either Sterndale Bennett was particularly forward-looking, or Parry was particularly backward-looking, but the music in this recital 'sits' comfortably together. These works enjoy the notable artistry of Simon Callaghan, who, throughout, plays very well indeed, with a genuine appreciation of the qualities of each piece. I have been particularly impressed by his performance of the Bennett Sonata - a really fine and individual work of no little importance in early British piano music - and his detailed characterisation of Parry's more intimate and unfailingly charming Shulbrede Tunes is most admirable, particularly the tongue-in-cheek quotation from Three Blind Mice in the closing pages of Bogies and Sprites that Gambol by Nights (No 4 in this set of mise-en-scenes). The two much shorter pieces by WT Best are first recordings and the sound quality and annotations are excellent. It is odd that a Belgian record company based in Ghent should issue this: it is none the less strongly recommended and I look forward to more CDs from this fine player. Robert Matthew-Walker