This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
What a pleasant surprise!
Although this may not be the greatest of music, it is full of interest. These are late Victorian pieces and the titles reminded me of many pieces that I played as a boy with these simple titles such as Melody and Reverie.
While some listeners will waste time in trying to find influences of Chopin and Mendelssohn in these pieces they would do far better to simply listen to and enjoy them. The opening Valse Fantastique lives up to its name and is played with scintillating finger work. The Valse Caprice is a little ONE, two, three, ONE, two, three ad nauseam, à la Johann Strauss, for my taste. The Melody in D flat has an interesting accompaniment, a clever use of modulation and is
never allowed to wallow. The quasi cantabile style brings out the lyrical line and if people want to dismiss this as merely salon music they must remember that Chopin and Schubert's music often falls into that category. The Impromptu benefits from a clever design and from easy to remember material and lives up to the real meaning of its title.
The Elegy, which was played at the composer's funeral in 1936, is both simple and occasionally profound with some choice modulations and a few harmonic surprises! And, as in all the pieces on this CD, the music does not drag and this is due to Mr Cuckston's advocacy.
The performances are gracefully and rhythmically vibrant. The recording is sharp and crisp.
I do not recommend that you listen to all the pieces in one sitting however, but be selective. Some of the pieces are delightful and I do hope pianists will take them up.
-- David Wright, MusicWeb International
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