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David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2020

Just as women battled to win the right to vote for those who govern their nation, so it was that they also found it far from easy to become recognised as composers.

Here the Japanese pianist, Hiroko Ishimoto, takes a brief look at music from fifteen who, over three centuries, were composing in many parts of the world. Some of the names you will have heard of, though I guess there are many you will have never encountered. Concentrating on cameo works makes for a very pleasing and ‘easy to listen to’ release, that introduced to me many names, including the 18th century Venetian, Ana Bon, with her one-movement Keyboard Sonata. The pupil of Hans von Bulow and Franz Liszt—Agathe Backer Grondahl—merits two tracks in the shape of very attractive ‘salon’ music. There are, of course, obvious names, such as the American-born, Amy Beach, with two musical pictures; the once highly popular Cecile Chaminade, and gorgeous vignettes from the tragically short life of Lili Boulanger. For my own education, I have discovered the Brazilian, Chiquinha Gonzaga, and catchy tunes from Tatyana Nikolayeva come as excerpts from her 1958 collection, Album for Children. Bringing the disc to a close, A Tango is a rather quirky look at the South American dance from the Japanese composer, Miyake Haruna, a 2019 addition to the female roster. There is so much from female composers that is still awaiting recording, and I fervently hope this is the beginning of a new Grand Piano series. Extremely fine recording from Naxos’s Hungarian team. © 2020 David’s Review Corner

Ralph Graves
WTJU, August 2020

Hiroko Ishimoto presents an illuminating program of piano music spanning almost 300 years. And all of it by women. It’s a terrific recording, with exceptional performances. I heartily recommend it. © 2020 WTJU Read complete review

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