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Penguin Guide, January 2009

IRELAND, J.: Piano Works, Vol. 1 (Lenehan) - Sarnia / London Pieces / In those days 8.553700
IRELAND, J.: Piano Works, Vol. 2 (Lenehan) - Decorations / Sonatina / Leaves from a Child`s Sketchbook 8.553889

John Lenehan is making a complete survey for Naxos and he too proves the most persuasive advocate, warmly expressive, using rubato in a totally idiomatic way. The four London Pieces are maong his most colourful, not just Ragamuffin, played here with quicksilver lightness, but also the barcarolle-like Chelsea Reach, tenderly emotional. The most ambitious work is the three-movement suite, inspired by Guernsey, Sarnia, far more than a set of atmospheric colour pieces. This music shows Ireland’s poetic imagination to particular advantage and its last movement has echoes of the Piano Concerto in E flat.

The second programme offers a score of miniatures, including two of Ireland’s most hauntingly atmospheric pieces, The Towing-Path and The Darkened Valley, a Blake inspiration. The longest work here is the Sonatina in three short movements, with the opening Moderato bringing echoes of Ireland’s colourful Piano Concerto, the second a dark mediation leading to a galloping finale. Impeccable performances, vividly recorded.


"John Lenehan is a very accomplished performer: not only is his technical address impeccable, but he also possesses a strikingly wide dynamic range and sophisticated variety of tone colour......Lenehan's supremely affectionate and wonderfully articulate advocacy will surely win John Ireland many new friends"

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"John Lenehan plays this music as though he loves it deeply, and the recording is excellent"

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7:55:05 PM, 13 February 2016
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