Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Jordi Caturla González
Ritmo, March 2019

Walker…returns to delight us with his high-level pianism, which does not overlook a single detail despite the intricacy of writing. © 2019 Ritmo

Daniel Morrison
Fanfare, May 2017

Walker’s performance of this valedictory piece [Piece in F♯ Minor] is excellent—nuanced and serenely eloquent in the first movement, hauntingly yearning in the second, joyous and brilliant in the third—while Paley’s is comparatively earthbound, lacking his rival’s lyrical flow.…

The recorded sound of this release is vivid and full-bodied, although it sometimes has a slightly veiled, soft-focus quality.

This release must be considered a significant addition to the recorded repertoire of Russian piano music. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Musiq3, January 2017

This third volume of Balakirev’s complete piano works is built around his seven Mazurkas, joyous and colourful pieces with an unmistakable Slavic tone… This series continues to establish Walker as the new reference for Balakirev’s music. © 2017 Musiq3

David Denton
David's Review Corner, October 2016

Though the leader of ‘The Mighty Handful’—a group of Russians including Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Mussorgsky—Mily Balakirev is now practically forgotten. He was his worst enemy, for having composed a sizeable portfolio of works, he then failed to get them published, and often just carried them around in his memory. His solo piano works were much influenced by Chopin, and on this third disc of his complete works for keyboard we have a group of seven Mazurkas written through much of his life. The lazy dance rhythms are so tuneful and skilfully crafted, the Third being a particularly gorgeous creation, while the Fifth has the feel of an aristocratic ballroom scene. His last work in the genre was to be his short three-movement Sonatina that remained unpublished on his death in 1910. Borodin would surely have been pleased to give his name to it, but—and here comes the rub—the work dated from 1910 when the style of composition was already part of antiquity. The beauty of the Dumka for 1900 and the Berceuse from the following year are forgotten cameos, while the dreamy Reverie and the playfulness of the finger-knotting Humoresque, lead to the Capriccio, the discs most extended and challenging work. This was an example of his unwritten music, the content remaining in his memory from his teenage years until it became reality in 1902. Throughout the disc, you are conscious of the affinity and affection for this music from Nicholas Walker, one of Balakirev’s foremost champions. Though much appears unchallenging, it is a feel that is misleading, as it falls beyond the range of amateur pianists, with the Capriccio a virtuoso showpiece. As with the previous releases, I most strongly commend the disc to you. © 2016 David’s Review Corner

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group