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Mark Pinto
WRTI-FM, Philadelphia, October 2013

A little night music, please. Actually, there’s a lot of it to enjoy on this beautifully conceived and performed two-disc set dedicated to the art of the piano nocturne.

Thirty-one composers in all are represented by their nocturnes on this recording…

Pianist and Temple University alum Michael Landrum has a definite affinity for these often delicate character pieces. His sensitive touch coaxing out the melodic line and his appropriate use of the sustain pedal underscore a keen awareness of each piece’s unique architecture and sound world.

Among the delights and surprises here: an extremely chromatic and nearly Impressionistic work from Georges Bizet; Impressionism meets Chopin in Alexander Scriabin’s left-hand nocturne, which sounds as if written for two hands; unexpectedly high drama from Jean Sibelius; spiky dissonance and cascades of notes from Samuel Barber; and strikingly songful melodies topped with virtuosic flourishes in Clara Schumann’s piece. This is a delightfully sparkling collection of pianistic gems. © 2013 WRTI-FM, Philadelphia Read complete review

Brian Reinhart
MusicWeb International, February 2013

What’s most fascinating about this double recital is the sources of some of the delights: a four-minute nocturne begins as a charmer with the barest of sweet melodies but builds to a formidable climax…A straightforward homage to Chopin comes from Manuel de Falla. One of the finest works in the entire set, a melancholy work introduced by and interwoven with a sequence of repeating notes and chords, is from Sibelius.

Michael Landrum has turned up some very well-chosen gems. The Borodin nocturne is one of my favorite piano pieces; Samuel Barber’s is an ear-catching mixture of John Field’s time with Barber’s own.

This recital adds up to more than the sum of its parts, which is saying something, because it has a lot of parts. There’s something very enlightening about having Balakirev, Copland, Debussy, Menotti, Tchaikovsky and de Falla all on the same program…I love hearing the ways that these thirty-one composers all contributed to the world of the nocturne. When you’ve gone through to the end, to the tiny gems by Copland and Alexandre Tansman, circle back to the very first track, by John Field. It’s so simple, and yet so much flowed from it. It’s rare to listen to a piano recital and feel like you’ve learned something new. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Alan Becker
American Record Guide, January 2013

Landrum’s playing here is worthy of the highest praise. There is enough variety in style and substance to sustain listening to a long string of these pieces at a time. Landrum also invests each piece with plenty of variety in color, tempo, and dynamics.

What you will hear is music of great variety, played with great skill and lavished with affection. You will also find a passion that will sweep you off your feet. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

WQXR (New York), September 2012

Landrum gathers 32 nocturnes by these and other composers on a two-CD set.

Landrum plays two Chopin Nocturnes…with a tasteful rubato and restrained use of pedal, letting their Italianate melodies come to the fore…these make for great late-night listening… © 2012 WETA Read complete article

WETA, September 2012

Spanning 150 years, the nocturnes here are by French, Russian, English, Irish, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Finnish and American composers. The two women represented here, Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel and Clara Wieck Schumann, were both accomplished composers who were overshadowed by close male relatives. © 2012 WETA Read complete article

Kara Dahl Russell
The WSCL Blog, August 2012

Dr. Michael Landrum won first prize in the J.S. Bach International Competition for Pianists in Washington D.C. in 1976. He presented a Nocturnes lecture and recital at Columbia Artists Management Hall in NYC in 2005. Recorded in 2000 and now just released in 2012, this CD presents this special vision and clarity with magnificent variety unexpected while focusing on one genre.

We can only breathe a contented sigh and say THANK YOU! © 2012 The WSCL Blog Read complete review

KDFC Radio, August 2012

One would expect a 2-CD set of piano nocturnes to include pieces by Chopin, Faure, and the inventor of the genre, Irishman John Field and this recording does. But it also contains nocturnes from such surprising sources as Aaron Copland, Fanny Mendelssohn, and Jean Sibelius. Pianist Michael Landrum brings together nocturnes from 32 different composers spanning more than two hundred years. © 2012 KDFC Radio Read complete review

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