Pianist Danny Driver has garnered overwhelming critical praise – and a Gramophone award nomination – for his previous discs for Hyperion. His authoritative and virtuosic performances of York Bowen and CPE Bach have placed him firmly in the ‘one to watch’ category. For his latest disc, he turns to one of the giants of the Russian piano world.
This disc looks beyond the ubiquitous Islamey to some of Balakirev’s most important works – which are curiously underrepresented on disc. The Piano Sonata in B flat minor is a major achievement of the period and one quite unlike any contemporary large-scale piano composition. Its absence from the standard repertoire is unfortunate, as it is fully worthy of such a place. Undoubtedly this marvellous recording will provoke a reappraisal.