British piano album,
Mittenwald MTWD 99008
An unexpected source for such a sensitive, sympathetic and broad ranging homage to British piano music from the first half of the 20th century is the Kasakakeno Bunka Hall in Gunma, Japan and the pianist Kumiko Ida, but not when it is noted that she graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, London in 1992 and during a long period of residency in England received many awards for her interpretation of British music.
In this recital there is little missing from that period of expansive, flamboyant, rippling and often French influenced piano writing. She begins with three of Lennox Berkeley's Preludes
[listen -- track 1, 0:52-1:45]
and includes music by Britten (Notturno), Holst, York Bowen, the rarely heard Three Preludes by Delius of which this is the second
[listen -- track 21, 0:01-0:54],
E J Moeran sounding rather like John Ireland, by whom there are six pieces (The Towing Path and Amberley Woods included); Cyril Scott's Lotusland, giving the CD its title; Frank Bridge's Romance and Rosemary
[listen -- track 8, 0:00-0:54]
and Arnold Bax sounding not in the least French and having a boisterous time In a Vodka Shop
[listen -- track 11, 0:01-0:57].
It is very pleasing that Kumiko Ida should present such a representative selection of that period of British piano music in a recording clearly intended for her own Japanese audience. The brief programme notes are in English too. The playing is accomplished and understands the music well, but the recording is rather dry and might have derived benefit from more resonance.