Margaret Kitchin

Tippett: Piano Sonata No. 1; Hamilton: Piano Sonata; Wordsworth: Cheesecombe Suite; Piano Sonata; Ballade

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English pianist Margaret Kitchin makes a most persuasive case for the selection of twentieth century British piano music featured here. Her total assuredness lends an almost Beethovenian stature to Michael Tippett's athletic Sonata No. 1 and a Brahmsian blend of soul and structure to Iain Hamilton's dramatic Sonata, Op. 13. Most surprisingly, Kitchin's performance makes a case for Wordsworth's lyrical Sonata in D minor being perhaps the best example in the form by any English composer of the twentieth century. She pulls off the same trick in the composer's Cheesecombe Suite, as well, making its evocations of earlier styles and forms sound positively inspired. Hamilton's sonata is perhaps too histrionic in the final analysis, and Wordsworth's sonata is sometimes wayward in its development. But in every case, Kitchin's playing is fully persuasive, most of all in the affecting Andante tranquillo of Tippett's first-class sonata. Though Lyrita's monaural sound is dim and dry by contemporary standards, it is clear and vivid nevertheless.

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