Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue; Saint-Saens, Ravel / Benjamin Grosvenor, piano; James Judd

Album Summary

>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Concerto for Piano no 2 in G minor, Op. 22
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Carnival of the animals
>Ravel, Maurice : Concerto for Piano in G major
>Ravel, Maurice : Prélude for Piano in A minor
>Gershwin, George : Rhapsody in Blue
>Gershwin, George : Goldwyn Follies
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

A second recording from the twenty year old Benjamin Grosvenor voted Gramophone's Young Artist Of the Year at the 2012 awards and who won prizes for his debut disc at both the Gramophone Awards (Instrumental) and Classics Brits (Critic's Award). This marks his first concerto recording.

The youngest British pianist ever to be signed by Decca and the label's first British player for sixty years.

Alongside Gershwin's ever-popular Rhapsody in Blue (in its original jazz-band version), the CD includes French piano concertos by Saint-Daens and Ravel, as well as solo encores by each of the three composers.

Grosvenor offers readings that combine a lively wit and rhythmic facility with a feeling of total immersion in the different sound worlds of these three major composers - and all done with a confidence that belies his years.

The Times
In an age of ready-made virtuosos, his gifts are already distinctive - poetic, romantic, almost old-school in the way he makes phrases teeter on the edge of a pause or when one hand hesitates before the other in laying down a texture... Grosvenor's rendition of the Rhapsody is definitely European, warmly sensuous rather than American pizzazz.

BBC Music Magazine, October 2012
Reservations pale into Beckmesserish scratchings besides the delights of this disc and especially of Grosvenor's pianism. I can only concur with other critics who hear in his tone and phrasing echoes of a golden age...For me, his playing of the Godowsky version of Saint-Saens's Swan is a high point...A champagne disc - fizz and finesse.

The Arts Desk, 30th September 2012
His playing belies his youth; this is deliciously individual, mature pianism. The sound is warm, the style impulsive, affectionate. He's not striving for technical perfection (though you won't find any fluffs here), more content to draw the listener in and spin a good yarn...Immaculate, characterful orchestral playing from James Judd and the RLPO too.

Gramophone Magazine, November 2012
He opens [the Saint-Saens] with a rhetorical grandeur before setting the keyboard ablaze with a burst of swaggering, supercharged virtuosity...He has technique to burn and his pungency and force are things to marvel at...Grosvenor's Ravel brims over with individual touches...while in Gershwin his virtuosity is once more exultant rather than brash...Grosvenor's is, at the least, a talent in a thousand.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: The Friary, Liverpool (04/16/2012-04/19/2012).



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Works Details

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Concerto for Piano no 2 in G minor, Op. 22
  • Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor (Piano)
  • Conductor: James Judd
  • Ensemble: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: The Friary, Liverpool (04/16/2012-04/19/2012)
  • Running Time: 22 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1868

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Carnival of the animals
  • Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor (Piano)
  • Conductor: James Judd
  • Notes: The Friary, Liverpool (04/16/2012-04/19/2012)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1886

>Ravel, Maurice : Concerto for Piano in G major
  • Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor (Piano)
  • Conductor: James Judd
  • Ensemble: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: The Friary, Liverpool (04/16/2012-04/19/2012)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1929-1931

>Ravel, Maurice : Prélude for Piano in A minor
  • Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor (Piano)
  • Conductor: James Judd
  • Notes: The Friary, Liverpool (04/16/2012-04/19/2012)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1913

>Gershwin, George : Rhapsody in Blue
  • Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor (Piano)
  • Conductor: James Judd
  • Ensemble: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: The Friary, Liverpool (04/16/2012-04/19/2012)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1924

>Gershwin, George : Goldwyn Follies
  • Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor (Piano)
  • Conductor: James Judd
  • Notes: The Friary, Liverpool (04/16/2012-04/19/2012)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1937