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CD Review

Gioachino Rossini

Péchés de Viellesse

Piano Works, Volume 8
  • Prélude from Musique anodine
  • Thème naïf et variations idem
  • Plein-chant chinois
  • Petite polka chinoise
  • Chansonette
  • Une Bagatelle
  • Gymnastique d'écartement
  • Échantillon de blague mélodique sur les noires de la main droite
  • Impromptu anodin
  • Fausse couche de polka-mazurka
  • Petite pensée
  • Valse anti-dansante
  • Mélodie candide
  • Valse boiteuse
  • Valse lugubre
  • Petite valse de boudoir
  • Une réjouissance
  • Un regret – Un espoir
  • Petite fanfare à quatre mains
Stefan Irmer, piano
Dabringhaus & Grimm MDG6181448-2 80m DDD
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It is with a bitter-sweet feeling that I come to this last volume of Rossini's complete piano pieces known as the 'Sins of Old Age' by the indefatigable Stefan Irmer. The previous seven installments were not only a sheer delight to listen to, but also provided a welcome insight into the composer's amazing command of the piano, although he repeatedly rated himself as a rather mediocre soloist.

This last helping bears the apt title 'A little bit of everything' and this CD is truly that with the pensive atmosphere of the 'Chansonette' rubbing shoulders with the grand 'Une rejouissance' amongst other myriad pieces. Each of the 19 pieces are imbued with the composer's wondrous facility for producing melodies that are both soulful and joyous.

Praise must also go to Irmer who has been a masterful advocate of these splendid works throughout the years and has surely done MD&G proud. The sound is also fine and at 80 minutes, the playing time is overtly generous indeed.

Copyright © 2007, Gerald Fenech