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Velvet-gloved pianism of ravishing sensitivity from Simon Callaghan

Warp And Weft, EMR CD043

The Strad, Julian Haylock

Warp and Weft EMRCD 043
Simon Callaghan
EM Records has put all lovers of English music in its debt with a series of releases that has rescued from oblivion some unaccountably neglected yet treasurable music, with performances to match.

On this occasion the focus is on music for two violins, opening with Rebecca Clarke’s exquisite three-movement Suite of 1909, brimful of memorable inspiration and beautifully scored with a haunting nocturne to finish. Midori Komachi and Sophie Rosa play as one, dovetailing their phrases and matching their sound to a remarkable degree, counterpointed by velvet-gloved pianism of ravishing sensitivity from Simon Callaghan and further enhanced by an atmospheric, gently cushioned sound picture.

Also included are two world premiere recordings: Paul Patterson’s Allusions Trio (2016), an expertly written, joyfully colourful and inventive work based on his concerto for two violins; and Gordon Jacob’s Four Bagatelles (1961), which was originally composed as a Christmas gift for violinist David Martin and then disappeared from view until (thanks to some inspired detective work) it was rediscovered for this recording. Moeran’s 1930 Sonata dates from shortly after the motoring accident that helped refocus his dwindling creative energies (the central Presto is especially delightful); and Alan Rawsthorne’s Theme and Variations is a dazzling, virtuoso sequence that Komachi and Rosa bring thrillingly to life, revelling in its neo-Classical exuberance and contrapuntal nuancing.

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Beautifully performed
Deep-rooted conviction
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The performances on this disc are spirited, well-shaped and refined
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Consummate ease and brilliance
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Rapturous … highly recommended
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Callaghan makes the case for both with flair and conviction
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Sent into the shadows by Simon Callaghan ✶✶✶✶
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The performances here are excellent, with Simon Callaghan making light work of the works' technical demands
Simon Callaghan’s interpretation was superb
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Callaghan once again shows himself to be one of the leading young British pianists
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Impressive pianism – BBC Radio 3 Record Review
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Callaghan's achievement of myriad tonal hues adds greatly to the allure
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Passion, total commitment …heartfelt affection
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Unquestionably deserves to be explored and celebrated
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Performances from all concerned are admirable
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A commendable revival of works dug out of the archives by the pianist himself
A display of exemplary musicianship
One of the festival highlights
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Commanding and virtuosic musicianship
Finely played, full of brilliance and virtuosity
Callaghan's spirited and skilful playing is impressive
An eloquent advocate
A new figure and force
Simon Callaghan proves the ideal partner, subtly weighting and detailing the music’s shifting harmonic and textural profiles
You will not be disappointed
Manner from on high
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