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Benjamin Grosvenor|Chopin - Liszt - Ravel

Chopin - Liszt - Ravel

Benjamin Grosvenor

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For his debut recording on Decca, pianist Benjamin Grosvenor performed music of Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, and Maurice Ravel, demonstrating both a keen awareness of his prodigious abilities and a knack for creating a balanced and interesting program. Chopin's four dynamic Scherzos are interspersed with three Nocturnes (chosen to correspond to the Scherzo's keys), while the remainder of the program is devoted to Liszt's transcriptions of two of Chopin's songs and the nocturne, En rêve, along with Ravel's notoriously difficult Gaspard de la nuit. The Chopin Scherzos are distinctively played with incisive attacks, commanding expression, and bravura speed, which, when taken altogether, make the gentle Nocturnes necessary interludes to leaven the Scherzos' volatile moods. The Liszt portion of the program is even lighter, with a nice mix of lyricism and colorful virtuosic turns, and the sweetness of the music balances the rather unsentimental Chopin interpretations. Less soothing is the dark and haunted music of Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit, which provides Grosvenor his finest moments. If any piece demonstrates this pianist's technical skills and expressive depth, then this tryptich succeeds, for it showcases his talent for weaving fantastic expressions and virtuosic playing into a magical, disturbing, and chilling experience. Even at the beginning of his career, Grosvenor shows maturity and insight, and he offers an admirable album that displays not only what he has achieved thus far, but promises great things ahead. This rising star bears watching and this CD demands repeated listening.

© TiVo

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Chopin - Liszt - Ravel

Benjamin Grosvenor

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Scherzo No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 20 (Frédéric Chopin)

1
Scherzo No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 20
Benjamin Grosvenor
00:08:18

Benjamin Grosvenor, Piano - Frederic Chopin, Composer - Simon Kiln, Producer, Recording Producer - Arne Akselberg, Recording Engineer

℗ 2011 Decca Music Group Limited

Nocturne No. 5 in F-Sharp Major, Op. 15, No. 2 (Frédéric Chopin)

2
Nocturne No. 5 in F-Sharp Major, Op. 15, No. 2
Benjamin Grosvenor
00:03:11

Benjamin Grosvenor, Piano - Frederic Chopin, Composer - Simon Kiln, Producer, Recording Producer - Arne Akselberg, Recording Engineer

℗ 2011 Decca Music Group Limited

Scherzo No. 4 in E Major, Op. 54 (Frédéric Chopin)

3
Scherzo No. 4 in E Major, Op. 54
Benjamin Grosvenor
00:09:58

Benjamin Grosvenor, Piano - Frederic Chopin, Composer - Simon Kiln, Producer, Recording Producer - Arne Akselberg, Recording Engineer

℗ 2011 Decca Music Group Limited

Nocturne No. 19 in E Minor, Op. 72, No. 1 (Frédéric Chopin)

4
Nocturne No. 19 in E Minor, Op. 72, No. 1
Benjamin Grosvenor
00:04:01

Benjamin Grosvenor, Piano - Frederic Chopin, Composer - Simon Kiln, Producer, Recording Producer - Arne Akselberg, Recording Engineer

℗ 2011 Decca Music Group Limited

Scherzo No. 3 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 39 (Frédéric Chopin)

5
Scherzo No. 3 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 39
Benjamin Grosvenor
00:06:40

Benjamin Grosvenor, Piano - Frederic Chopin, Composer - Simon Kiln, Producer, Recording Producer - Arne Akselberg, Recording Engineer

℗ 2011 Decca Music Group Limited

Nocturne in C-Sharp Minor, Op. Posth. (Frédéric Chopin)

6
Nocturne in C-Sharp Minor, Op. Posth.
Benjamin Grosvenor
00:03:46

Benjamin Grosvenor, Piano - Frederic Chopin, Composer - Simon Kiln, Producer, Recording Producer - Arne Akselberg, Recording Engineer

℗ 2011 Decca Music Group Limited

Scherzo No. 2 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 31 (Frédéric Chopin)

7
Scherzo No. 2 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 31
Benjamin Grosvenor
00:09:16

Benjamin Grosvenor, Piano - Frederic Chopin, Composer - Simon Kiln, Producer, Recording Producer - Arne Akselberg, Recording Engineer

℗ 2011 Decca Music Group Limited

My Joys, Op.74 No.12 (arranged as No.5 of 'Six Chants Polonais' S.480) (Frédéric Chopin)

8
No. 5, My Joys
Benjamin Grosvenor
00:03:22

Benjamin Grosvenor, Piano - Frederic Chopin, Composer - Simon Kiln, Producer, Recording Producer - Arne Akselberg, Recording Engineer

℗ 2011 Decca Music Group Limited

6 Chants polonais de Frédéric Chopin, S. 480 (Frédéric Chopin)

9
No. 1, The Maiden's Wish
Benjamin Grosvenor
00:03:39

Benjamin Grosvenor, Piano - Frederic Chopin, Composer - Simon Kiln, Producer, Recording Producer - Arne Akselberg, Recording Engineer

℗ 2011 Decca Music Group Limited

En rêve, S. 207 "Nocturne" (Franz Liszt)

10
En rêve, S. 207 "Nocturne"
Benjamin Grosvenor
00:02:25

Benjamin Grosvenor, Piano - Franz Liszt, Composer - Simon Kiln, Producer, Recording Producer - Arne Akselberg, Recording Engineer

℗ 2011 Decca Music Group Limited

Gaspard de la Nuit, M. 55 (Maurice Ravel)

11
No. 1, Ondine
Ravel
00:06:35

Benjamin Grosvenor, Piano - Maurice Ravel, Composer - Simon Kiln, Producer, Recording Producer - Arne Akselberg, Recording Engineer

℗ 2011 Decca Music Group Limited

12
No. 2, Le gibet
Ravel
00:05:29

Benjamin Grosvenor, Piano - Maurice Ravel, Composer - Simon Kiln, Producer, Recording Producer - Arne Akselberg, Recording Engineer

℗ 2011 Decca Music Group Limited

13
No. 3, Scarbo
Ravel
00:08:41

Benjamin Grosvenor, Piano - Maurice Ravel, Composer - Simon Kiln, Producer, Recording Producer - Arne Akselberg, Recording Engineer

℗ 2011 Decca Music Group Limited

Album review

For his debut recording on Decca, pianist Benjamin Grosvenor performed music of Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, and Maurice Ravel, demonstrating both a keen awareness of his prodigious abilities and a knack for creating a balanced and interesting program. Chopin's four dynamic Scherzos are interspersed with three Nocturnes (chosen to correspond to the Scherzo's keys), while the remainder of the program is devoted to Liszt's transcriptions of two of Chopin's songs and the nocturne, En rêve, along with Ravel's notoriously difficult Gaspard de la nuit. The Chopin Scherzos are distinctively played with incisive attacks, commanding expression, and bravura speed, which, when taken altogether, make the gentle Nocturnes necessary interludes to leaven the Scherzos' volatile moods. The Liszt portion of the program is even lighter, with a nice mix of lyricism and colorful virtuosic turns, and the sweetness of the music balances the rather unsentimental Chopin interpretations. Less soothing is the dark and haunted music of Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit, which provides Grosvenor his finest moments. If any piece demonstrates this pianist's technical skills and expressive depth, then this tryptich succeeds, for it showcases his talent for weaving fantastic expressions and virtuosic playing into a magical, disturbing, and chilling experience. Even at the beginning of his career, Grosvenor shows maturity and insight, and he offers an admirable album that displays not only what he has achieved thus far, but promises great things ahead. This rising star bears watching and this CD demands repeated listening.

© TiVo

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