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CD Review

Five Variations

Andrew Rangell, piano
Bridge 9331 72min
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The Variations genre has always held a special allure for composers of and in all ages. The main reason is because this particular form gives one the opportunity to display not only his imaginative ability but also his versatility of performance. This highly attractive disc groups together some very well-known pieces with others that are equally as fine but which have not attained quite the popularity they deserve.

Haydn's F minor and Brahms's, Op. 21 #1 are staple diet of any pianist, but Bizet's "Variations Chromatique", Nielsen's "Chaconne" and Schubert's "Rosamunde", which is in fact the Impromptu in B Flat D 935 #3 (one of Schubert's very last works) are somewhat less frequently performed. Notwithstanding this mixed bag, the music is consistently inventive, and each piece has its own special timbre.

Andrew Rangell plays with verve and bravado, but there is abundant emotion too, and his executions are infused with a drive and energy that holds one's attention throughout. Excellent sound and annotations complete a very notable issue which I recommend wholeheartedly.

Copyright © 2011, Gerald Fenech