Anthony Goldstone (piano)
divine art dda25051
TPT: 71’ 44”
reviewed by Neville Cohn
Over the years, as I’ve listened to the recordings of Mozart by Anthony Goldstone, I almost invariably think of the biblical story of Ruth who, following in the wake of those harvesting this or that grain, would find nourishment for herself and others from the scattered ears of corn or wheat. Ruth was a gleaner. So, too, in a very different context, was Goldstone.
Think of these snippets of musical thoughts, incomplete or abandoned ideas, scraps of paper with a scribble or two (meaningless to most but musicologically beyond price in some cases) – which, in the minds of most, would be considered as so much rubbish to be thrown away.
In the biblical Ruth’s case, her gleanings sustained life – and in Goldstone’s case, tiny scraps of paper, sometimes a bigger piece left unfinished or unedited were re-animated. Here, Goldstone breathed life into what almost everyone else would have dismissed as inconsequential – to be thrown away with no thought given to the possibility it might be musical gold. What most others would regard with indifference, Goldstone saw as rich possibility.
And what fascinating miniatures these are: part, perhaps, say of a piece that would be carefully completed by Goldstone: a minuet perhaps – or a sarabande.
Mozart aficionados the world over owe an immense debt of gratitude to this remarkable man who with scrupulous care – and affection – brought to life what, in lesser hands (and minds), would simply have been left lying in the dust. His passing leaves us all the poorer.
Goldstone realised the potential of these snippets which others might unthinkingly have dismissed as worthless, ephemeral, expendable, barely worthy of attention. Wrong!
There is a delightful improvisatory quality to the opening Praeludium: the recorded sound quality is excellent in a piece which oscillates between slow introspection and virtuosic brilliance. It’s rather like an improvised cadenza. Glowing, golden tone and impeccably spun trills are fine features. A number of pieces were found unfinished and – one senses a profound humility in this – lovingly, respectfully completed.