Gramophone

Were there a Gramophone award for industriousness, Anthony Goldstone would win a nomination at least. Scarcely a month seems to go by without a new disc from this indefatigable English pianist (with or without his duo-partner/wife Caroline Clemmow). With an already impressive list of world premieres, completions and rarities to his credit, it is puzzling why he does not enjoy a higher public profile.

For instance, tucked away among the 13 hyphenated composers is a fairly uncommon solo outing for Chopin’s Variations on “Là ci darem la mano”, the early (Op. 2) work which inspired a cocky young part-time scribbler by the name of Robert Schumann to proclaim “Hats off, gentlemen! A genius!”. Goldstone plays Mikuli’s arrangement with his own embellishments (I’d love, one day, to hear the version by the American Liszt pupil Julia Rivé-King, 1857-1937). The penultimate item is Mendelssohn’s rarely heard Fantasy on “The Last Rose of Summer”, composed 20 years before the song became famous from its operatic use in Flotow’s Martha.

Most of the remaining pieces are more widely known and recorded, but Goldstone’s accounts generally stand up well to the competition – a buoyant Rigoletto paraphrase, for example, and a keenly detailed and dramatic Carmen Chamber Fantasy. His Norma Fantasy does not quite match the delirious heights reached by Marc-André Hamelin, nor does his Gluck-Sgambati Mélodie equal the ethereal playing of Earl Wild or Rachmaninov, but these are minor cavils that should deter no-one from investing in this generously filled disc accompanied by the pianist’s own excellent booklet.

—Jeremy Nicholas