Though he professed not to enjoy concert giving, Grainger was one of the greatest pianists of the earlier twentieth century and had an intimate understanding of the capabilities of the piano and how best to write for it. He possessed a unique compositional voice and was, in many ways, part of the great composer–pianist tradition stretching from Liszt to Busoni for whom the concert transcription was an essential part of their art.
This recording contains the majority of Grainger’s concert transcriptions of music by other composers (his few Bach arrangements are performed by Piers Lane on Bach Piano Transcriptions Volume 3). They range from the folk-inspired Irish Dances of Stanford, full of Grainger’s characteristically extrovert piano writing, to the hyper-romantic lushness and incredible pianistic sophistication of his Ramble on Love based on Richard Strauss’s ‘Rosenkavalier’. All are superbly played by Piers Lane.
“A delight from start to finish” The Observer
“Grainger's eclectic idiosyncratic piano transcriptions, despatched with light-fingered clarity. Strauss swoons, Stephen Foster's all of a tingle. Excellent notes, too.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2011 ****
“Musically enchanting fare … everything is played with unfaltering command … the recording and presentation are immaculate” Gramophone Magazine
“Lane boasts a fabulous technique … succulent performances” Fanfare
“Heroic stamina by Piers Lane” The Times
“A fine selection … an easy listen that often delights the ear” Pianist Magazine