With his idiomatic and graceful style, pianist Philip Martin has established himself as the foremost exponent of Gottschalk. Much of his music is by no means easy to play; it requires an impeccable technique matched with Èlan and joie de vivre for its most effective execution. Although not essentially a great composer, Louis Moreau Gottschalk had a unique spontaneity and individuality which Martins performances bring vividly to the fore. The composers music was hugely popular during his lifetime and his works display a real melodic charm and a great sense of fun. Each of the eight discs in Martins extensive Gottschalk series has received wide acclaim and left pianophiles eagerly awaiting the next issue.
The peerless Takacs Quartet recently nominated for a Gramophone award for their second disc of Brahms's string quartets, continue their exploration of the Romantic chamber music tradition with this disc of Schumann. The Piano Quintet is by far Schumann's most popular chamber work and one of the most beloved works in the genre. Schumann was the first romantic composer to pair the piano with the string quartet. Schumann studied the string quartets of Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn and his quartet Op. 41 No. 3 demonstrates these influences. However, it contains many highly original strokes, particularly the casting of the scherzo as a set of variations. The Takacs Quartet are joined by Marc-Andre Hamelin in an invigorating partnership that has already been widely acclaimed on the concert platform.
Franck’s Piano Quintet and Debussy’s String Quartet make an apt and unusual coupling, each work its composer’s only, unsurpassable, contribution to the genre. Both receive authoritative performances from Marc-André Hamelin and the Takács Quartet.
The complete original LP More of the Greatest Piano of Them All (Verve MGV-8347), showcasing the brilliant pianist unaccompanied. This album, which includes original liner notes by André Previn, was part of the marathon sessions jazz producer Norman Granz planned for Tatum, who at that time was seriously ill and neglected by record companies due to stylistic changes in the music industry. He would die on November 5, 1956 at the age of 47. As a bonus, we have added the complete album Still More of the Greatest Piano of Them All (Verve MGV-8360), which includes original liner notes by Teddy Wilson, plus one extra track, all recorded during the same sessions.
…It's intriguing to imagine how a very slow performance would come off, but Schleiermacher's is a fully persuasive version of a piece that could have a number of very different but valid interpretations. MGD's natural, unprocessed sound is, as is typical for the label, immaculate and vivid.