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Barry Brenesal
Fanfare, November 2014

Cristina Ortiz certainly has the technique to burn, but also the stylistic awareness for this kind of music.

Grand Piano provides excellent sound. Definitely recommended for music and performer alike. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, September 2014

…[Ortiz] has the full measure of Bowen’s style down pat; she is an outstanding musician and evidently enjoys playing his pieces.

Ortiz does herself proud with these fine readings… © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Alan Becker
American Record Guide, September 2014

[Ortiz’s]…technique is faultless in these Rachmaninoff-Medtner like pieces, and she immerses herself in Bowen’s sound world as a passionate advocate. I find them imaginative, romantic, and passionate. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Bryce Morrison
Gramophone, July 2014

…now comes a deeply affectionate tribute from Cristina Ortiz. Her performance of the 24 Preludes has all the love and freshness of a recent discovery. And, whether in her supple grace and fluency in the gorgeous seventh Prelude or in the sombre magnificence of No 24, you will hear playing quite without the hard edge of the over-seasoned virtuoso but a charm and fluency that create their own moving, poetic ambience. The exquisite Berceuse and the Barcarolle from the Op 30 Suite could hardly be given more insinuatingly, and when you hear Ortiz in the ‘Moto perpetuo’ from the Suite mignonne you will marvel at such musical empathy, backed by an immaculate dexterity. A more endearing case for Bowen would be hard to imagine. © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Michel Fleury
Classica, July 2014

Cristina Ortiz greatly surpasses her predecessors: her vibrant sensibility tempers a rubato closely synchronized to every mood. Her rich palette of nuances enhances an intense tonal beauty even as she adopts a tempo giusto moderate enough to bring out luxurious ornamentation… A delight for both the ears and the heart. © 2014 Classica, May 2014

The first choice for the fascinating 24 Preludes by British composer York Bowen…is likely to be the new…Cristina Ortiz performance on the Grand Piano label. Ortiz handles the music with great understanding and substantial technical skill, not glossing over its difficulties but also not dwelling on them, allowing its emotional expression plenty of free flow and letting its complexities unfold at a natural pace. Bowen’s music is not particularly well known, but this work certainly shows that it deserves to be held in high regard. The other pieces on the CD are essentially fillers, and all show Bowen to be a highly skilled composer for the piano, capable of eliciting emotion beyond the technical requirements of the music and, particularly in the “Suite Mignonne,” creating works with genuine charm. © 2014 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2014

Very slowly the name of York Bowen is creeping back into the concert repertoire, largely as a result of the recording industry’s interest in his many compositions. Born in London in 1884 he was to become one of the most outstanding British pianists of his generation, having initially studied with his mother, a highly accomplished musician. It is said that he could play, to a degree of competence, every instrument of the orchestra, and he left, on his sudden death at the age of 77, a catalogue of a 160 published works including symphonies and piano concertos. For the solo piano his works were mainly of a cameo quality, his largest score being the Twenty-four Preludes that occupies over fifty minutes. They do have as their linage the music of Chopin and Rachmaninov—composers he most frequently performed—and though they are not virtuoso showpieces, they make a searching examination of a pianist’s technique. At times his tricky rhythms, as in the eighteenth and twenty-second, are demanding, but the score is essentially of a tranquil and pastoral nature, the serious nature of the extended finale reflecting its genesis through the years of the Second World War. The Bercause was a gentle salon piece from 1928, eighteen years after he had completed the Second Suite for Piano, the Barcarolle, that forms the third movement, being a gorgeous work to play as an encore. Suite Mignonne was the fourth of his five suites, its will-o’-the-wisp toccata-like finale being a moment of considerable charm. The whole disc is magically and superbly played by Cristina Ortiz, and it is undoubtedly the gleaming jewel in the crown of the present Grand Piano catalogue. Fervently recommended. © 2014 David’s Review Corner

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