Outstanding German pianist Michael Endres joined the
University of Canterbury in 1999 as professor of piano. He
performs worldwide as soloist and a chamber music partner,
having gained his master's degree at the Juilliard School in
New York and also studied in London.
Songbook, Rhapsody in Blue, etc. Michael Endres
(piano). OEHMS Classics (Ode) CD.
Recorded in Germany, this delightful disc has 18 songs by
George Gershwin, including favourites such as The Man I
Love, Swanee, Oh Lady Be Good , Strike
Up the Band and I Got Rhythm. The rest of the 33
tracks include the solid fare of the piano version of jazzy
Rhapsody In Blue, played with panache, plus 14 other
preludes and miniatures (some as brief as 20 seconds) that
are sweet and refreshing to hear.
Highlight: General appeal of Gershwin, try
S. Bach: Partitas Nos 2 and 6, Toccata BWV 911. David Fray (piano). Virgin
Fray French-born pianist and ''newcomer of the year'' in the
BBC Music Magazine (2008), is a Bach specialist. He shows his
inspired sensitivity on the modern keyboard in this disc,
recorded close-up in the Notre-Dame du Liban, Paris, in 2012.
The partita is a set of variations, and Bach liked this form
for solo instruments, writing three for violin and six
originally for harpsichord. Two are beautifully played here.
Toccatas are virtuoso pieces displaying full chords, rapid
runs, high harmonies, and other elements; in the C minor one
(built on two large-scale fugues) Fray revels in drama, but
the Partita No.6 in E minor probably resonates most as a
giant, truly heartfelt work in seven movements.
Highlight: Energetic folksy ''Air'' movement in