Tag Archives: Climaxes

Kevin Kanisius Suherman (piano)


 Music by Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Granados, Albeniz, de Falla



TPT: 64’ 10”




reviewed by Neville Cohn


If you’ve not yet heard of Kevin Suherman, then, if you are a follower of music for the piano, you may well come across the name in the near future. Because if this recording is anything to go by, this is a youthful pianist on a direct route to the stars.


Is there a more hackneyed work for the piano than Liszt’s La Campanella? Yet, here,  unhurried,  wondrously clear and with beautifully considered rubato, is a performance of extraordinary merit. In this young musician’s hands, this so-frequently encountered piece sounds fresh and newly minted – and that is no mean achievement. It’s a model of pianistic insight.


Much the same could be said of Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu in a reading informed by a passionate intensity that sounds intuitively right. In the same composer’s Ballade in G minor, there are interpretative felicities that one would normally associate with a pianist at the height of maturity. In so young a musician, it is astonishing. Revelations of its romantic essence, beautiful tonal colourings and near-perfectly calibrated climaxes augur well for a concert career of distinction.


In the Polonaise in A flat – the Heroic –  the right hand is powerfully declamatory. But the villainously difficult semiquaver octaves in the left hand are less persuasive; there is a sense of strain. And in Liszt’s arrangement of Schumann’s lied Widmung, there is some stodginess in the opening measures; its euphoric essence is lacking.


In Beethoven’s Sonata opus 2 no 3, this young pianist sounds in his element. The virtuosity he brings to the opening allegro con brio is astonishing and gratifying. Nimble fingers make light of passages that would defeat lesser pianists. And the villainously difficult thirds in the right hand are tossed off, diamond bright, with the nonchalance of mastery. There is about much of the playing here a peremptory brilliance that is as impressive as it is satisfying to listen to. A pleasingly expressive slow movement, a sparkling scherzo and a finale taken at a spanking pace with intermittent flashes of grandeur reveal a young man well on the way to pianistic glory.


Albeniz’s Seguidillas sounds over-rapid although clear and accurate. But in Granados’ The Maiden and Nightingale, the presentation unbottles the music’s idiosyncratic and ecstatic genie to admirable effect.

Original Transcriptions for Piano



Cameron Roberts (piano)

TTP: 63’00”



Goldberg Variations (Bach)

Cameron Roberts (piano)

TTP: 68’00”



reviewed by Neville Cohn


MCD404 is one of the most satisfying recordings I’ve heard in some time. It brims with good things.


All the transcriptions on this CD are by Cameron Roberts himself. Certainly, he shapes to the demands of whatever he plays like fine wine to a goblet. His taste is impeccable, his physical command of the piano is remarkable. Refinement of style  informs every moment of this recording.


Vivaldi’s Summer from The Four Seasons is a high point of this collection with Roberts working wonders with this much loved work. Magically silvery tone in the high treble informs the second movement which is transcribed and played with such artistry as to assume an identity that is quite unique and able to stand proudly in its own right. At its most extrovert, the playing has a Lisztian grandeur.


Roberts’ version of Rachmaninov’s song How Beautiful it is Here! is given marvellously lyrical treatment, each note clothed in gorgeous cantabile tone. The same composer’s The Morn of Life, Sleep is a model of introspection.


Is there a more hackneyed work in the American canon than Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue? Here, though, Roberts demonstrates a mastery of style and an heroic physical command of the instrument which, at climaxes, generates massive waves of noble sound. Bravo!


The Largo ma no tanto from Bach’s Concerto for two violins is another gem which leaves little doubt that Roberts is a born Bach interpreter; this offering cannot be faulted.


Tchaikowsky’s 1812 overture runs for more than a quarter hour – and every moment of it makes for thrilling listening.


This compilation is a stunningly fine example of the transcriber’s art.


ROBERTS  is in Olympian form in Bach’s Goldberg Variations which comes across as a chaplet of near-faultlessly fashioned pianistic gems. Variation 8, for instance, has a delightfully spiky, buoyant quality, Variation 10 is memorable for its emphatic rhythms – and there’s a wondrous clarity and control in Variation 11. Variation 12 is in the best sense danceable – and the bold, abruptly peremptory quality of Variation 16 could hardly have been bettered. A dainty, graceful account of Variation 17 makes for sheerly beautiful listening – and the intricate delicacy of Roberts playing in the20th variation calls finest Brussels lace to mind.


There’s no lack of virtuosity when called for: Variation 23 is given refreshingly forthright treatment – and Variation 23 is informed by fantastic agility and precision.  Variation 30, though, calls for a more paean-like quality.


A bonus takes the form of three transcriptions of Bach originals: Aus liebe from the St Matthew Passion comes across as an essay in achingly poignant terms – and the darkly bodeful despair that is the essence of Es ist Vollbracht from the St John Passion is as much an instance of the transcribers art at its highest as it is a profoundly probing interpretation.