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Stephen Barber
MusicWeb International, January 2016

…[Lennox Berkeley’s] piano music is beautifully crafted, with good tunes and piquant harmonies but also with a rather restricted emotional range.

Raphael Terroni is…a fluent pianist with a thorough grasp of the idiom. …Norman Beedie who joins him in the duet works is a versatile musician who makes a good duet partner. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2015

Lennox Berkeley studied in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and became saturated in French influences at a time when music nationalism was sweeping through the UK. By the time he returned to England in 1934, his works found little favour in the music establishment or amongst the concert-going public. He was therefore to spend much of his life in teaching, with composition becoming such a subsidiary part of his life, that he was already thirty before he had his first work published. The present disc offers a thumbnail-sketch of his output for piano, which was his own instrument, chronologically beginning with his Five Short Pieces dating from 1933. Just little cameos that show a composer wanting to be liked—as in the third piece—and yet wishing to prove his credentials as a modernist. We jump forward seven years when, over a very prolonged period, he wrote the Piano Sonata, a work that reflected the hard and uncomfortable war years. There is something of Prokofiev in the short and spiky second movement scherzo, with the final Introduction and allegro both hard-hitting and aggressive. Maybe the Six Preludes from 1945 came as a sense of relief from the conflict. They are brief and often charming in a late Impressionistic style, while the happy three-movement Sonatina for four hands will certainly appeal to amateur pianists. Also for piano duo the Theme and Variations forms a contrast to the ‘naughty but nice’ Palm Court Waltz. Raphael Terroni’s cleanly fingered playing clarifies the complex structures that are often characteristic of Berkeley’s composing. Previously available on the British Music Society label, its reappearance is most welcome. © 2015 David’s Review Corner





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