Benjamin Grosvenor

Dances

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AllMusic Review by

Even at a very young age (he was 22 when this album was released in 2014), British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor had the kind of sound that makes his compatriots roll over and put their paws in the air. It's understated, dry, humorous, and technically unimpeachable. On an album of dances, will some listeners want more oomph in, say, the Chopin Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante, Op. 22? Sure, but on his own terms Grosvenor is indeed impressive, and not just for his age. The opening Bach Partita No. 4 in D major, BWV 828, is questionable in several ways; the interpretation seems capricious, and, even if you could explain connections conceptually, the work does not feel like it connects to the rest of the program. From there, however, things improve. The smaller works, most of all the Eight valses poéticos of Granados, are marvelously suited to Grosvenor's approach, and the usually splashy Arabesques on Johann Strauss' "By the Beautiful Blue Danube" are brought under control in a delightful way. The Boogie-Woogie Etude of Morton Gould is another effort that may be more satisfying within the U.K. than elsewhere, but for those looking for a savior of British music, Benjamin Grosvenor certainly bears watching.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Partita No. 4 in D major, BWV 828
1 4:32 Amazon
2 4:44 Amazon
3 1:39 Amazon
4 1:02 Amazon
5 2:50 Amazon
6 0:59 Amazon
7 1:54 Amazon
Andante spianato et Grande Polonaise brillante, Op. 22
8 4:01
9 8:57
10 10:24 Amazon
10 Mazurkas, Op. 3
11 2:16
12 3:55
13 2:47
14 5:38
8 Valses poéticos
15 1:03 Amazon
16 1:21 Amazon
17 1:07 Amazon
18 1:32 Amazon
19 0:38 Amazon
20 1:09 Amazon
21 1:03 Amazon
22 0:39 Amazon
23 1:54 Amazon
24 10:02
Espana, Op. 165
25 2:39
26 2:08 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick