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Chopin Resonances

Chopin: Fantaisie-Impromptu Op.66; Prelude Op.28 No.14 E flat minor; Etude Op.25 No.1;
Berceuse Op.57; Mazurkas Op.7 No.2a A minor, Op.56 No.2 C major & Op.17 No.2 E minor
Paderewsky: Nocturne Op.16 No.4
Scriabin: Op.8 No.12
Debussy: Etude “pour les arpèges composés”
Szymanowski: Mazurka Op.50 No.2
Bill Evans: The Peace Piece
Balakirev: Nocturne No.2 B minor
George Crumb: Dream Images (Love-Death Music)

Kevin Kenner, piano

DUX 0782 [UK Distributor Discovery]

Kevin Kenner is an American multi-prizewinning pianist, piano professor at the Royal College of Music in London, but new to me though already boasting a substantial discography.

Musical Pointers tends to avoid CD titles, but this one is spot on, completely appropriate. Kenner's selection, and its ordering, celebrates the transmission of Chopin's particular traits in works of numerous subsequent composers, sometimes deliberate and obvious (Crumb), mostly transformed in a variety of personal ways. Kenner, clearly a thinker amongst pianists, places them deliberately in "a seamless flow of musical ideas transcending composer, time and place".

This works superbly.

The peformances? They are quite exceptional, counting amongst the most subtle and expressive piano playing enjoyed in several years. A disc which we have played through twice with increased admiration.

And a bonus discovery; like our Daniel Grimwood [cf. Chopin on Erard], Kevin Kenner doubles as a keen fortepianist, and has contributed to the recording of all Chopin's piano music on fortepiano; hear him in the Ab Impromptu on an 1848 Pleyel.

Peter Grahame Woolf