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.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Partita No. 4 in D major, BWV 828|
|Andante spianato et Grande Polonaise brillante, Op. 22|
|10 Mazurkas, Op. 3|
|8 Valses poéticos|
|Espana, Op. 165|