Joachim Raff: Heralds of Spring

The PIANODAO MUSIC LIBRARY
Selected & Reviewed by ANDREW EALES


Back in 2019 I published this review of Joachim Raff’s Piano Sonatas Op.14 and Op.168, newly edited by Ulrich Mahlert and published by Breitkopf & Hārtel, concluding:

“Had history told a different story, these three Sonatas could comfortably and confidently sit astride the peak of the Romantic piano repertoire; they more than deserve rediscovery, and I can recommend an exploration of these great works with genuine enthusiasm…
I hope that the publisher’s stated aims are fulfilled: that this new edition helps to overcome the cycle of ignorance of Raff’s music. Ulrich Mahlert and Edition Breitkopf are to be highly commended for so enterprising, important and rewarding a publication.”

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE

The team are now back with Mahlert’s new edition of another major find in the Raff catalogue, his Frühlingsboten (Heralds of Spring) Op.55, a cycle of 12 piano pieces which are simply brilliant, and again surely deserve a far more prominent place in the modern pianist’s repertoire…

Continue reading Joachim Raff: Heralds of Spring

Eleonor Bindman: Bach Transcriptions

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH
Selected & Reviewed by ANDREW EALES


So here’s something very different, and yet which seems so very comfortingly familiar…

The question of whether or not J.S. Bach’s harpsichord works translate well to the modern piano has led to recurring discussion and debate throughout my lifetime in piano education, so I was intrigued to hear about New York-based pianist Eleonor Bindman’s latest project: the transcription, performance and recording of Bach’s Six Cello Suites for solo piano.

Bindman’s recordings have recently become available as a 2CD set from the Grand Piano label:


As Bindman points out in her fascinating CD booklet essay, Bach himself regularly transcribed his works originally intended for one instrument so that they could be performed on another, as well as making arrangements of the music of other composers.

And indeed, this was a standard practice in the Baroque era. And not only then: Bach’s music in particular has of course been the subject of many excellent transcriptions over the last three centuries.

Listening to Bindman’s recording, I was immediately struck by the mellifluous beauty and sensitivity of her renditions of these iconic cello works; that she has transcribed them so well and plays them with such assurance, grace and finesse makes this 2CD set an easy choice for my Recording of the Month

Continue reading Eleonor Bindman: Bach Transcriptions