Penguin Guide To Compact Discs

Joanna Leach uses three “square” fortepianos, by Stodart and Broadwood (both from the 1820s) and a D’Almain from a decade later. The latter instrument most closely approaches the quality of a modern piano, though the Broadwood is not far behind. Leach coaxes poetic sounds from these comparatively recalcitrant instruments and plays this repertoire very sensitively. However it cannot be denied that for most ears this music (with its remarkable anticipation of Chopin) sounds even better on a modern concert grand. **(*) – (“good, almost outstanding”