Bartók Complete Piano Music, Volume 7; Jeno Jandó; Naxos 8573224; 1 CD: 

  • From the misery of a failed love affair came Bartók’s Fourteen Bagatelles, unashamedly experimental, decidedly forward-looking and displaying many of the qualities of his mature style.
  • Buoyed by the success of his Dance Suite at a concert in Budapest in 1925, Bartók felt inspired to compose major works for himself to play as a concert pianist, including the neo-classical Nine Little Piano Pieces (1926) which owe something to Italian Baroque composers such as Frescobaldi and Marcello.

Bowen 24 Preludes for Piano; Cristina Ortiz; GRAND PIANO GP637; 1 CD: 

  • York Bowen was described by Saint-Saëns as “the most remarkable of the young British composers.”
  • His 24 Preludes form a sequence of concise, richly expressive and directly communicative studies.
  • The Berceuse Op. 83 ranks amongst Bowen’s most intimate scores, while the sophisticated Suite Mignonne demands the most delicate of touches from the pianist.
  • After winning a Gold Medal at the third Van Cliburn Competition, Ortiz went on to complete an invaluable period of tuition under the guidance of the legendary Rudolf Serkin.

Claudio Arrau plays Beethoven; Ludwig van Beethoven; Claudio Arrau; ICA Classics ICAC 5122; 1 CD: 

  • Some consider Arrau’s live Beethoven sonata performances superior to the studio versions. In the later sonatas, Arrau himself alluded to the fact that an improvisatory approach was required that was difficult to achieve within a recording studio.
  • Of op. 111, Jonathan Summers says that “as we near the close...we realize we've been transported to another world by Arrau.”
  • This 1960 Stockholm recording, with Arrau at his career peak, is extremely rare and has never been issued.

Mozart Piano Concertos; Jacoby; Marriner; Academy of St Martin in Fields; ICA Classics ICAC 5125; 1 CD: 

  • Pianist Ingrid Jacoby's new recording of two Mozart concertos, accompanied by the ASMF under Sir Neville Marriner, follows her critically acclaimed Beethoven Concerto cycle.
  • The booklet contains notes by Richard Wigmore and personal insights by Jacoby on Mozart.
  • Since moving to England, she has performed with many major British orchestras and eminent conductors.
  • A second volume of Mozart Concertos is planned for release in autumn 2014.