Christmas Piano Music

Album Review

I simply must tell you about Peter Froundjian’s new release for SONY Classical, Christmas Piano Music. It is surely one of the most unusual, but fabulous recordings of the year!

Unusual, because there is hardly a single work on here that will be familiar (many are world premiere recordings). Fabulous because, from top to toe, these neglected works are wonderful and beautifully performed.

It really deserves to be heard in every household this Christmas season!

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Tokio Myers: Our Generation

Album Review

When 32 year-old Tokio Myers won this year’s Britain’s Got Talent, students were quick to ask my opinion, and like many, I was undecided about his music, but blown away by his story.

Now Tokio returns to the public eye with the release of his debut album…

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Andrew James Johnson: ‘Winter’s Heart’

Album Review

Winter’s Heart is the debut solo album by Andrew James Johnson, released this week. According to the press release I received a few months back,

“Andrew’s music has an honesty and openness that reflect his life journey in a meditative and truthful way that universally appeals to listeners of all ages.”

I was naturally curious – and the advance review copy has been spinning in my CD player fairly regularly over the last few weeks. Here’s my review…

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Catherine Gordeladze’s ‘Dance Fantasies’

Album Review

It has become fashionable, once again, for concert pianists to release recital albums containing a mixed variety of music, brought together by a particular concept.

I personally welcome this approach, finding that it leads to releases which are generally more enjoyable than listening to the completist’s rendition of a huge raft of music by one composer. But it is certainly a challenge for pianists to put together a programme that is both fresh and familiar.

Where some have failed, Georgian pianist Catherine Gordeladze has brilliantly succeeded on her new release, called Dance Fantasies. And remarkably, about half of the music here was new to me, even though the programme strikes a fabulous balance between novelty and the comfort of the familiar.

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Ayako Fujiki: “brightwater”

brightwaterNew Recording

Ayako Fujiki is a Japanese classical pianist who lives in Barcelona, Spain, where she had the privilege of learning with the legendary Spanish concert pianist Alicia de Larrocha.

She has released three classical recordings, and now brings us Brightwater, a collection of her own original compositions. Already a success in Spain, Ayako now hopes to win more fans in the UK and beyond.

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Burgmüller: 25 Easy & Progressive Studies Op.100

J.F.F.Burgmüller (1806-1875) was a popular pianist based in Paris who improvised hundreds of Salon Pieces as well as composing a wide range of instrumental music.

He is best known today for his Piano Exercises, notable the 25 Easy and Progressive Studies Op.100. Although called “studies”, and very beneficial for piano playing technique, these are actually very attractive pieces which remain favourites with students of all ages.

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