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Dances

4.7 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 Aug. 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B00KOEQTN4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,455 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Digital Booklet: Dances
Digital Booklet: Dances
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Product Description

Dances is a dazzling display of solo works for piano from Bach to Boogie Woogie; via Chopin, Granados, Albeniz, Scriabin and the Blue Danube. For his second solo album on Decca, Benjamin Grosvenor has assembled a typically imaginative and appealing programme of piano music inspired by the dance form.

Shining the spotlight on the music of movement, this album was inspired by a letter from the great pianist-composer Ferruccio Busoni to his pupil Egon Petri proposing a “dance programme” as a theme for Petri’s recitals, a concept Grosvenor expanded on for his Queen Elizabeth Hall debut recital in 2012.

A former Gramophone Young Artist of the Year, Grosvenor will appearing at two BBC Proms in 2014 with a performance of Chopin’s First Piano Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (8th August), followed by a solo recital at Cadogan Hall (1st Sep). In 2011, he was awarded the honour of opening the BBC Proms Concerts season and the youngest-ever soloist to perform on the ‘First Night’.

Shining the spotlight on the music of movement, this album was inspired by a letter from the great pianist-composer Ferruccio Busoni to his pupil Egon Petri proposing a “dance programme” as a theme for Petri’s recitals, a concept Grosvenor expanded on for his Queen Elizabeth Hall debut recital in 2012

A former Gramophone Young Artist of the Year, Grosvenor will appearing at two BBC Proms in 2014 with a performance of Chopin’s First Piano Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (8th August), followed by a solo recital at Cadogan Hall (1st Sep). In 2011, he was awarded the honour of opening the BBC Proms Concerts season and the youngest-ever soloist to perform on the ‘First Night’.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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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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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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"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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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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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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