Bortkiewicz: Piano Music
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Since the release of Stephen Coombs's recording of the Piano Concerto No 1 (CDA66624) Bortkiewicz has become something of a cult composer amongst lovers of late romantic piano music. A man after his time, Bortkiewicz became all but forgotten after the First World War. He fled communist Russia to live first in Istanbul and then Vienna but his music remained resolutely that of pre-Revolution Moscow; like Rachmaninov in style but with even more 'tunes' and sentiment.

These discs of solo pieces include some of Bortkiewicz's most imposing works. The Sonata Op 9 is his largest solo composition and the Ballade and Elegy are two of his finest. The Lamentations and Consolations set is among his most characteristic works: intensely melodic with a brooding romanticism often reminiscent of Liszt. The fairy-tale interpretations of Aus Andersens Märchen, subtitled 'A Musical Picture Book', come from the large corpus of pieces Bortkiewicz composed with children in mind, while the opus 33 Preludes owe much of their character to Chopin.

CDD22054  146 minutes 19 seconds (2 discs)
‘Abundance of melodic appeal and inventiveness. Bortkiewicz seems incapable of writing unattractive music so one is able to derive pleasure from the pieces here. I shall certainly look forward to furt ...
‘The hand of a master melodist and tone painter is manifest throughout this beguiling recital. A recital to delight the connoisseur of forgotten late 19th-century romantic piano music’ (Classic CD)
‘Stephen Coombs provides suave performances … artfully phrased and scrupulously colored. Warmly recommended’ (Fanfare, USA)