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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than his QEH recital of the same works
I heard Benjamin Grosvenor give this same recital in the QEH London a few months ago. It was a very fine recital but I didn't feel he had really settled fully into the Bach Partita. Here the performance is more assured and subtle; in fact I'd say that of all the performances on this disc compared to his live recital. It's a pity the Partita is played without repeats but...
Published 10 months ago by Stephen Churley

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
The choice of pieces was not as interesting as I had expected,but there were a few pieces which were notable.

I had to return this cd because there was a fault near the start when it just stopped briefly each time I played it,then again
a bit further on.
I decided not to reorder as the programme was disappointing.
Published 9 months ago by Jean S


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than his QEH recital of the same works, 21 Aug. 2014
By 
Stephen Churley (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dances (Audio CD)
I heard Benjamin Grosvenor give this same recital in the QEH London a few months ago. It was a very fine recital but I didn't feel he had really settled fully into the Bach Partita. Here the performance is more assured and subtle; in fact I'd say that of all the performances on this disc compared to his live recital. It's a pity the Partita is played without repeats but he plays it in a way which is all his own. That's why I am very impressed with Mr Grosvenor and have decided to follow all his forthcoming recordings. He is very much his own man with a fresh new angle on everything he plays. And it's refreshing that he is mixing old warhorses with lesser-known works that he obviously loves, e.g. the Granados and Scriabin. It is a real treat hearing Scriabin's Waltz played so well. Who else plays this piece? But it's wonderful and Scriabin gave it an opus number all to itself. Grosvenor's playing doesn't quite have the heady voluptuousness of Sofronitsky live in 1960 but it is on the way there.

I hope that Decca will give Grosvenor the freedom to record exactly what he wants not what they think the public wants. If that means more unusual repertoire then all to the good.

There are superb performances on Youtube of Grosvenor playing Beethoven's sonata op 7 and Schumann's Humoreske op 20. I hope his next disc consists of more 'meaty' fare.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pianism Par Excellence, 19 Aug. 2014
By 
M. J. Nelson (Leeds) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dances (Audio CD)
"Benjamin Grosvenor may well be the most remarkable young pianist of our time.....this is a disc to prompt wonder and delight in equal measure." So wrote the reviewer of this disc in Gramophone, which awarded it the accolade of Recording of the Month. The superlative playing apart, what distinguishes the disc is the unhackneyed choice of works. Bach's Partita No 4 and Chopin's Andante spianato et Grande Polonaise brilliante may be reasonably familiar but how often on recital discs are Scriabin's attractive Mazurkas and Granados's delectable fragments Valses poeticos featured ? Just as unfamiliar are Morton Gould's racy Boogie-Woogie Etude, a scintillating encore piece, and the Arabesques on Johann Strauss's By The Beautiful Blue Danube (by the surely unknown Adolf Schulz-Evler), which sparkles and beguiles like a Viennese fountain lit up at night. And there are intriguing connexions between the composers. Chopin loved Bach's music, Scriabin, in his early phase, reveals the influence of Chopin, as does Granados, whilst Albeniz, whose Tango Espana in an arrangement by Leopold Godowsky is included in the programme, was a contemporary of Granados in their establishment of a school of modern Spanish music. With a playing time of 80 minutes this must be a contender for the most desirable recital disc of the year, performed by an artist, who, at the age of only 22, already holds the secret of true artistic communication.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful playing not to be missed, 7 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Dances (Audio CD)
As I have all of Grosvenor's previous CD's, and have heard him live, in the hall, in a concerto ( Saint-Saens No.2 ), and other live recordings , I eagerly anticipated this release.

The Bach has a glowing warmth and ease, colorful, playful, with a wonderful Sarabande . The Chopin Op.22 Andante spianato and Grand Polonaise is perhaps the most extraordinary account I've heard of this work,an example of true rubato at work ; sensuous yet never losing line or momentum ; layers of richness and original nuance not even the Rubinstein recordings equal, all delivered here with great freedom not seeming over-thought nor over-wrought despite all the detail. The Chopin Op.44 Polonaise opens with wonderful swagger, accents, dynamic gradations, and is illuminated on occasion throughout with shafts of light, in contrast to the more monochromatic Horowitz and early Pogorelich readings. I can't imagine the Scriabin Mazurkas played better - the rapt attention and care Grosvenor lavishes on each of these little jewels quite remarkable as is his rhythmic sense. The Scriabin Waltz of course has had many advocates ; Grosvenor's playing here can stand with them all. At 21 at the time of this recording ! Madame DeL would approve the Granados " Valses Poeticas " which brought a smile to my lips with the first bars ; and after the Schultz-Evler one had to ask, " Lhevinne who ? " . The Albeniz / Godowsky and Gould again demonstrate the pianist's range and the deep well of virtuoso technique he can call upon when needed. The bonus "Gnomenreigen" ( on the digital download version of the recording ) is another extraordinary reading by any historical standards.

Impressive that in this CD Grosvenor may well have given his best performances of these works to date , a good sign of his continuing growth as an artist and comfort with studio as well as concert venues.

Recommended without qualification . Excellent sound, a testament to the pianist and engineer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly wonderful disk, showing this still comparatively young pianist's amazing ..., 11 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Dances (Audio CD)
A truly wonderful disk, showing this still comparatively young pianist's amazing technique and sensitivity, it repays countless replayings and in fact I've bought two copies so that we can enjoy his Dances in two places! Highly recommended !!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great sound, great program, great playing, 21 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Dances (Audio CD)
First, congratulations to the engineers: I haven't heard piano sound this good since Nelson Friere's "Harmonies du Soir" -- also from Decca, and probably not coincidentally. Then one has to give Grosvenor credit for the program, literally from Bach (the Partita No. 4) to Boogie-Woogie (a Morton Gould etude from 1943). In between, we have Chopin, Scriabin, Granados, Albeniz, and a character called Schulz-Evler. This latter was responsible for 10 minutes of "Arabesques on Strauss's 'Blue Danube'" and not even Grosvenor's brilliant and apparently effortless playing could convince me that it in any way dignifies or improves on the original. (And no, I still have my sense of humor.) The Bach Partita is played pianistically and unapologetically so, and it sounds marvelous. The Chopin selections, the "Andante Spianato et Grande Polonaise Brillante" and the op. 44 Polonaise, form the weighty heart of the recital. The Op. 44 receives a powerfully expressive performance, and the climax before the quiet ending is shatteringly done, with never a hint of bluster or tonal compromise. With the Scriabin (3 Mazurkas and a Waltz), we're still in Chopin's orbit, so to speak, but Scriabin has witty takes on the Mazurkas, and the Waltz has a lot of variety of texture tucked into its 5+ minutes. Granados's "8 Valses Poeticos" are played almost without pause, and they have the feel of a theme-and-variations. The texture is sparer than Chopinesque material, and the whole thing, eight waltzes and a prelude, comes in at under 10 minutes -- lovely, lively, and unpretentious. After the big sugar dollop of the Blue Danube arabesques, Albeniz's Tango and the boogie-woogie clear the palate nicely. There is about 80 minutes of music here, and you can play it through without risking boredom.. Grosvenor is one to watch.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I too have all his earlier discs and have heard him live on a great evening in Hexham, 12 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Dances (Audio CD)
Yes, I too have all his earlier discs and have heard him live on a great evening in Hexham. I agree with every word of the previous reviewer and do not wish to repeat what he said. The recital is brilliantly planned from lengthy Bach and Chopin, gradually becoming more and more effervescent through Scriabin and Granados, until with Schulz-Evler the champagne corks are popping and flying everywhere. Two contrasting encores complete a very special disc by the greatest young home-grown pianist since goodness knows when. Bravo Benjamin Grosvenor, and thanks to Decca for showcasing him so well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very fine disc, 12 Sept. 2014
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Sid Nuncius (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dances (Audio CD)
There has already been a mountain of praise heaped on this disc, so another review might be redundant but, for what it's worth, I think this really is as good as it's cracked up to be and Benjamin Grosvenor really is a phenomenal talent.

The programme is varied and interesting, and it is fascinating to hear Grosvenor's mastery of different styles. His technique is superb, of course, which allows him the freedom to interpret the music for himself. I think he does it wonderfully; the Bach Partita has a beautifully crisp articulation and impeccable phrasing, for example, and his tone and mastery of rubato in the Chopin pieces makes them positively glow.

I won't go on at length – plenty has already been said by others. In short, this is an imaginative programme of music, beautifully played and excellently recorded, and I warmly recommend this disc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His supremely expressive playing would lend itself beautifully to Rachmaninov's Preludes or the gorgeous ballades of Chopin, 4 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Dances (Audio CD)
From the first time I heard Ben play at the age of 11, I knew he was a true musician - the real deal - and he made my hair stand on end. These performances demonstrate his sheer virtuosity and technical brilliance but also his feeling for the music across a variety of musical genres. His supremely expressive playing would lend itself beautifully to Rachmaninov's Preludes or the gorgeous ballades of Chopin. Can't wait.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bach you need to hear, 19 May 2015
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This review is from: Dances (Audio CD)
His Bach is the best I have heard in a very long time, even Angela Hewitt. Deft, articulated, very sensitive - the tone control, phrasing and dynamics immaculate. Above all, a powerful rhythmic impulse that seems to drive him on at speed, but without celerity. I can listen to these again and again. The same technique and sensibility is at work in the Granados, quite another kettle of fish. He seems to have the intellect, emotion and technique of Martha Argerich. He can play anything and I will listen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dances? Quite correct., 7 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Dances (Audio CD)
New kid on the block and what a talent! Sympathetic playing as well as total technical control. I am really enjoying this disc.
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Dances by Benjamin Grosvenor (Audio CD - 2014)
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