Anthony Goldstone: The Piano at the Ballet

review piano ballet x1 cong

You get one piano transcription of orchestral scores and another two turn up. Like buses, piano transcriptions. A couple of weeks ago we had Enigmas, the work of Elgar; last week it was an excellent disc of performances of Mussorgsky, now this.

On one hand it’s a charming piece of entertainment, in which complex music is reduced to an accessible essence so well crafted it almost seems lightweight. On the other; it’s a little bit sad, because Goldstone is no longer with us, having died aged 72 in January.

A musician described by The New York Times as “a man whose nature was designed with pianos in mind”, Goldstone was one of Britain’s most respected pianists. Life: you’re just getting really good at something and then you’re gone.

Looking at the composers — Francis Poulenc, Henri Sauguet, Jean Françaix, Maurice Thiriet, Boris Vladimirovich Asafiev, Henri Büsser and Igor Stravinsky — we guessed there was a French connection: if the composer isn’t French there’s a link; Asafiev contributes The Flames Of Paris while Stravinsky wrote Pulcinella in France.

We’re not going to pretend familiarity with the original scores; we recognise some sections and not others but that doesn’t matter, because it’s all delightful. Goldstone plays superbly, as befits a man designed for pianos. If you know the scores, you’ll probably enjoy the piano version, and if you don’t, it’s a rather wonderful CD in its own right.

It complements Goldstone CDs looking the worlds of opera (DDA 25067), carnival (DDA 25076) and an earlier ballet one (DDA 25073).

This is out on DDA 25148.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s