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Piano Music

3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 18, 2006
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Piano Music + Bridge: Piano Music Vol. 2 - Piano Sonata + Bridge: String Quartets Nos. 1 & 3
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Editorial Reviews


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 18, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B000EQHS6Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,274 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

5 star
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4 star
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kelvin Brown on May 8, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I purchased this CD as soon as it was released, and find this to be one of the most delightful collections of light piano music I own. Unlike some of the other reviewers that dismiss Frank Bridge's piano works as "parlor music," I find the music to be some of the most beautiful music ever written, each one painting a visual and evoking a mood - haunting, other worldly, and at times, infinitely serene. Ashley Wass plays each of the pieces to absolute perfection. His understated technical precision is intimate, and laced with enough enchantment that at times you feel as if you have been transported to fairytale dreamland. This music is the stuff of whimsy and magic. Preview the tracks and decide for yourself.

I highly recommend this and all of Mr. Wass's CDs on Naxos. Some of the finest piano out there if you enjoy this kind of piano music as much as I.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 18, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Frank Bridge (1879-1941) is a composer I admire a great deal. Some of his early orchestral works are among my favorites -- e.g., The Sea, Summer -- and some of his later works are astounding in their forward-looking effectiveness -- e.g., the Second Piano Trio, the orchestral tone poem 'Enter Spring,' as well as the wonderful cello-and-orchestra 'Oration.' The booklet notes for this release of some of his piano music makes mention of the fact that much of Bridge's early piano music was written for the amateur -- salon music, much in demand before the First War. And, unfortunately, much of the music here is of that stripe, some of it unbearably twee. The first track -- 'The Princess' from the suite, 'A Fairy Tale' -- is one such and very nearly put me off listening further. But amongst these trifles are some real jewels. For instance, 'The Midnight Tide', from the suite, 'The Hour Glass', is a dramatically eerie treasure. (The booklet note writer compares it with Debussy's 'La cathedrale engloutie,' but the resemblance is superficial.) Also effective are the two-section 'In Autumn' (1924) and 'Three Poems' (1914-1915). The individual salon pieces are given descriptive titles that are presumably intended to make them sell to amateur and student pianists: e.g., The Ogre, The Dew Fairy, Dainty Rogue, The Prince.

Most of this music is a unique combination of Englishness with French impressionism. The later music adds in some expressionism. The rising young English pianist, Ashley Wass, is a sensitive player and he gives these pieces performances that are unlikely to be bettered.

This issue is 'Piano Music so presumably there will be subsequent releases. One hopes that the magnificent Piano Sonata (1921-24) will be included as well as the duet arrangements of 'Sally in Our Alley' and 'Cherry Ripe,' familiar from their delightful string quartet versions.

Scott Morrison
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jsa on December 16, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Don't be put off by the frilly cover art, or the "salon music" categorization suggested by the titles of some of the pieces, because this disc is a mostly rewarding anthology of piano music from one of England's most original composers. No, there's nothing terribly substantial about the atmospheric "Fairy Tale Suite" that opens the program; it's just very enjoyable and like most everything else here, bears up to repeated listenings. You hear the influence of Debussy in the oriental shadings of the opening movement of the three part "Hour Glass" suite, but I wouldn't call the music derivative; Frank Bridge was too good of a composer for that. The simple "Miniature Pastorals" and "3 Lyrics" that follow are the weakest pieces on this program, but the reflective pieces such as "In Autumn" that comprise the rest of the disc more than compensate for this. Who says music has to be intellectually or emotionally challenging to be satisfying?
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