(1811-86) Un Sospiro, S144 No. 3. Rigoletto-Paraphrase,
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
Préludes, Book 1 - No. 8, La fille aux cheveux de lin; No. 10,
La cathédrale engloutie; No. 12, Minstrels. Children's Corner -No.
4, Snow is dancing; No. 6, Golliwog's Cakewalk. Suite bergamasque
- Clair de lune.
Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909)
Cantos de Espańa - No. 5, Seguidillas.
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-56)
Fantasiestücke, Op. 12 - No. 1, Des Abends.
Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-49)
Grande Valse brillante in A flat, Op. 18 No. 1. Fantaisie-Impromptu
in C sharp minor, Op. 66. Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op. Posth.
Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945)
For Children, Sz42 - The Peasant's Flute.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Dances - B minor, D145 No. 6; B, D145 No. 2; A flat, D365 No. 2;
A, D779 No. 13.
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-97)
Waltz in A flat, Op. 39 No. 15.
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
Prelude in G sharp minor, Op. 32 No. 12.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN(1770-1827)
Für Elise, WoO59
Piano compilations can so often be sloppily compiled, so it comes as a pleasure to welcome Martino Tirimo's carefully prepared and thoroughly enjoyable performances back to the catalogue. The repertoire includes many old favourites, many played with refreshing simplicity of utterance. Only the final item, Liszt's Rigoletto-Paraphrase, does not fit into the 'Miniature' category of the disc title, but it does bring the recital to a resounding close.
Tirimo's name is not readily associated with the music of Franz Liszt, but he chooses to begin and end the recital with music by this composer. The opening wash of sound of Un sospiro is expertly presented, with just the right amount of pedal. The Rigoletto-Paraphrase is the real surprise, a virtuoso account of a fiendish piece which still retains at its heart a real vein of lyricism (Liszt draws on the Quartet from Act Three, Bella figlia dell'amore).
Of course the two composers Tirimo is most readily associated with are present: Schubert and Debussy (he recorded a complete Schubert Sonata traversal on EMI). The set of four Schubert Dances (of which D365 No. 2 is probably the most famous) are beautifully and affectionately presented. Debussy's Minstrels are decidedly tipsy, and his Submerged Cathedral appropriately rises from its blurred outlines. Only in the Golliwog's Cakewalk is humour missing. Beethoven, perhaps surprisingly in the light of Tirimo's generally successful Sonata Cycle at St John's, makes only a fleeting appearance, in the shape of Für Elise, which here appears fresh as a daisy.
Rachmaninov first sealed Tirimo's reputation with the record-buying public (his CfP coupling of the Second Piano Concerto and the Paganini Rhapsody was a best-seller for EMI). The one Rachmaninov Prelude included here (the famous G sharp minor which concludes the Op. 32 set) serves as a reminder of this. It is one of the highlights of the disc, wonderfully atmospheric and perfectly shaped. There are also some pointers as to other strengths which maybe further recordings will confirm. Schumann's Des Abends is effortlessly, limpidly floated, while Chopin Fantaisie-Impromptu is fast and fluent, as if caught on the wing, with a beautifully voice-led contrasting section.
The piano recording is of a high standard. Do try to hear this disc: it is full of delights.