Balakirev: Complete Piano Works, Vol. 4
Label: GRAND PIANO
Format: COMPACT DISC
This fourth volume in Nicholas Walker’s complete edition of Balakirev’s piano music is structured around his three Scherzos, which take us from the youthful influence of Chopin and Liszt in the First Scherzo, to the music of his prolific final decade, from which the Second Scherzo is one of his finest compositions. Balakirev’s interest in Spanish music was kindled by his mentor Glinka, creating surprisingly authentic sounding textures and rhythms, and the programme is topped with the elegantly masterful poetry of the two Valse-Caprices. Nicholas Walker studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the Moscow Conservatoire. Winner of the first Newport International Piano competition, he has performed with major British orchestras, given recitals worldwide, and recorded for the BBC, BMG Arte Nova, ASV, Chandos and Danacord labels. He is also sought after as an imaginative and sensitive accompanist. Although his Beethoven performances have brought him special critical acclaim, and his performances of lyrical and late Romantic piano music have also been highly praised, he is best known for championing the neglected leader of ‘The Mighty Handful,’ Mili Alekseyevich Balakirev. In 2010 he organized the Balakirev Centenary concerts in London. He also teaches at the Royal Academy of Music.