This is a collection of the most important piano compositions by an original
composer who died at 20, his enormous promise unfulfilled.
My difficulty (which will be unshared by many readers) is with the choice
of piano, probably a modern Steinway. I find it quite unsuitable for music
by a teenage prodigy c.1800, however well recorded on 20-bit technology.
It is even anachronistic with the c.1900 Tissot cover picture, which raises
different expectations of what those elegant people might hear with their
George Frederick Pinto (1785-1806) was an innovator, his harmonies and piano
writing anticipating the later romantics. Precise dating for some of the
pieces remain uncertain, but the two sonatas op 3 were published in 1801
and the Grand Sonata in C minor a year later. Op 3 no 1 in Eb minor is stormy,
with a serene adagio in the middle. No 2 is predominantly relaxed & pastoral,
suggesting Schubert. Amongst the 16 tracks there is also a rondo on an Irish
air. It is all neatly played, but somehow uninvolving.
O'Rourke has also recorded John Field for Chandos. I would urge readers (and
Mr Rourke) to listen to Joanna Leach's recording of Field's nocturnes on
square pianos of the period - it might change their lives, and his!
Peter Grahame Woolf