Recording of the Year, Instrumental

Four Pianos
Music by Schubert, Chopin, Liszt and Stravinsky
Alexander Melnikov p
Harmonia Mundi  HMM902299

Alexander Melnikov and his set of ‘period’ instruments prove the most adept of time travellers

“With the passage of time we know less and less about the lives of our ancestors; and yet we are eager to know how their food tasted, their houses smelled, or indeed their music sounded.”  Alexander Melnikov

Here’s a great idea; matching four monuments of the repertoire with four instruments of the period – virtuoso pieces that stretched the pianos of the day
to the extremes of their expressive possibilities.

Previous performances of Schubert’s Wanderer-Fantasieon fortepianos have usually resulted in 20 minutes of clatter in C Major, but not so here; Melnikov’s lovely Graff from the late 1820s has a richer sound...