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Breadth and scope

KEITH BRAMICH is impressed by Lionel Sainsbury's Twelve Preludes

PNH    443

Lionel Sainsbury Piano Music. © 1997 Lionel Sainsbury

A surprisingly varied disc of piano music written and played by a British composer with a warm and passionate voice -- Lionel Sainsbury -- begins with, for me, the best music on the CD. The Twelve Preludes (1985-87) [listen -- track 1, 0:02-0:54] range from the grand, powerful and serious to the simple and carefree, from jazz to flamenco, from Gershwin to the French impressionists and from lento e languido to allegro con fuoco. Sainsbury takes the listener on an intriguing twenty five minute journey with breadth and scope.

The carefree Cuban Fantasy (1994) has a very authentic feel. It's in three sections, with the central one slower and more dreamy. The Nocturne (1991) [listen -- track 14, 0:00-0:57], this time with a central energetic section, is perhaps an homage to Chopin and Debussy, and in the Andalusian Fantasy (1990), Sainsbury seems to have assimilated the soul of Spanish flamenco.

The South American Suite ends the disc -- a work of contrasts, from, for example, the slow and gentle Canção (song) with its wonderfully laid-back tempo [listen -- track 19, 1:24-2:20] to the energetic Recuerdos de España with its shifting moods, and from the rich and mysterious Escuridão to the final Bacchanale.

Sainsbury's playing on this delightful disc is sensitive, virtuosic and emotional, the sound clean and well-recorded.

Copyright © 3 August 2002 Keith Bramich, Worcestershire, UK


Lionel Sainsbury Piano Music

443 DDD Stereo 71'34" 1997 Lionel Sainsbury

Lionel Sainsbury, piano

Twelve Preludes; Cuban Fantasy; Nocturne; Andalusian Fantasy; South American Suite




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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular Saturday series of shorter CD reviews