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Dances - music of J.S. Bach, Chopin, Scriabin, Granados, Albeniz, Gould / Benjamin Grosvenor, piano

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Partita for Keyboard no 4 in D major, BWV 828
>Chopin, Frédéric : Andante spianato et Grand polonaise brillante in E flat major, Op. 22
>Chopin, Frédéric : Polonaise for piano no 5 in F sharp minor, Op. 44, CT. 154
>Scriabin, Alexander : 10 Mazurkas, Op. 3
>Scriabin, Alexander : Waltz for piano in A flat major, Op. 38
>Granados, Enrique : Valses poéticos (7), for piano, H. 147, DLR 7
>Schulz-Evler, Adolf : Arabesques on J. Strauss II's "The Blue Danube Waltz," for piano, Op. 12
>Albéniz, Isaac [Composer] : Espana, Op. 165
>Gould, Morton : Boogie Woogie Etude
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

For his second solo album on Decca, Benjamin Grosvenor has assembled a typically imaginative and appealing program of piano music inspired by the dance form.

Dances is a dazzling display of solo works for piano from Bach to Boogie Woogie; via Chopin, Granados, Albeniz, Scriabin and the Blue Danube.

Shining the spotlight on the music of movement, this album was inspired by a letter from the great pianist-composer Ferruccio Busoni to his pupil Egon Petri proposing a "dance program" as a theme for Petri's recitals, a concept Grosvenor expanded on for his Queen Elizabeth Hall debut recital in 2012.

A former Gramophone Young Artist of the Year, Grosvenor will appearing at two BBC Proms in 2014 with a performance of Chopin's First Piano Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (8th August), followed by a solo recital at Cadogan Hall (1st Sep). In 2011, he was awarded the honor of opening the BBC Proms Concerts season and the youngest-ever soloist to perform on the 'First Night'.

The Daily Telegraph
The Bach Partita was marvelously light, Grosvenor's super-dry bass notes acting like the tiny push that keeps the balloon aloft. That dry, plucked bass, placed with perfect precision, came back in Chopin's F sharp minor Polonaise, giving it a superb poise. And the tumultuous octaves that begin the piece had a tremendous thrilling bite. Fire and air are Grosvenor's elements, and under his hands music seems to be made entirely from them.

The Financial Times
Grosvenor is above all a technical wizard, a Harry Potter-like conjuror of the keyboard who can summon breath taking cascades of notes. And yet, unlike other technically brilliant pianists, he does not seem to want to show off. He never bangs, never plays to the gallery, and certainly would not think of breaking into a sweat.

The Times, 1st August 2014
The poise of the sarabande is particularly exquisite: Grosvenor at such points seems inside the notes, entirely the music's servant...This is an exhilarating programme all told, from a greatly gifted young artist. Excellently recorded, too. And even if Grosvenor records the complete fripperies of Schulz-Evler, I know I'll still be listening.

The Observer, 10th August 2014
The delivery is absolutely winning...The discovery is the Valses PoTticos by Granados, done with total charm and dash. Even the trashy Schulz-Evler mash-up of Strauss's Blue Danube is transmuted by Grosvenor into something breathtaking.

Financial Times, 23rd August 2014
This is piano playing of nimbleness and elegance.

Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 11th August 2014
His playing exudes a buoyance and clarity which really does dance. Everything is consummately classy and eloquent, but nothing is cerebral or micro-managed...Mark my words, this one will be garlanded with awards in the coming months - and, more importantly, will bring countless hours of pleasure.

Gramophone Magazine, September 2014
Performances that are carried forwards on an irresistable tide of youthful exuberance...there is a sense of joyful release, of music-making free from all constraint...Grosvenor may well be the most remarkable young pianist of our time...this is a disc to prompt wonder and delight in equal measure.

BBC Music Magazine, October 2014
The quality of this playing is altogether exceptional. Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor takes nothing for granted in music. Nor should we in listening to him...he plainly understands that every interpretation is just one possibility, and he offers us a very enticing opportunity to open our minds...All in all, a world of piano styles evoked as few could even hope to try.

American Record Guide, January/February 2015
Bringing us closer to our time is the rare appearance of Morton Gould's 'Boogie-Woogie Etude'. While it can be argued that 1943 is hardly close to our present time, the uninhibited unleashing of energy is more reflective of today's aesthetic. Besides, it makes for a wild and jolly conclusion to this remarkable program. Mark Ainley's notes and a truly outstanding recording serve the music well.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Potton Hall, Suffolk (07/07/2013-07/10/2013).



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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Partita for Keyboard no 4 in D major, BWV 828
  • Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk (07/07/2013-07/10/2013)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1726-1731

>Chopin, Frédéric : Andante spianato et Grand polonaise brillante in E flat major, Op. 22
  • Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk (07/07/2013-07/10/2013)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1830-1835

>Chopin, Frédéric : Polonaise for piano no 5 in F sharp minor, Op. 44, CT. 154
  • Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk (07/07/2013-07/10/2013)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1841

>Scriabin, Alexander : 10 Mazurkas, Op. 3 :: 6. C sharp minor
  • Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk (07/07/2013-07/10/2013)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1889

>Scriabin, Alexander : 10 Mazurkas, Op. 3 :: 4. E major
  • Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk (07/07/2013-07/10/2013)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1889

>Scriabin, Alexander : 10 Mazurkas, Op. 3 :: 9. G sharp minor
  • Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk (07/07/2013-07/10/2013)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1889

>Scriabin, Alexander : Waltz for piano in A flat major, Op. 38
  • Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk (07/07/2013-07/10/2013)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Waltz
  • Written: 1903

>Granados, Enrique : Valses poéticos (7), for piano, H. 147, DLR 7 :: 8
  • Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk (07/07/2013-07/10/2013)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Waltz
  • Written: ?1886-87

>Schulz-Evler, Adolf : Arabesques on J. Strauss II's "The Blue Danube Waltz," for piano, Op. 12
  • Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk (07/07/2013-07/10/2013)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1904

>Albéniz, Isaac [Composer] : Espana, Op. 165 :: no 2. Tango
  • Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk (07/07/2013-07/10/2013)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1890

>Gould, Morton : Boogie Woogie Etude
  • Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk (07/07/2013-07/10/2013)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1943