Various Composers, Piano Préludes from the 20th and 21st Century
Irresistible unknowns: I know as much about Ulrike Fendel as this disc’s liner notes tell me. Nor do I know if it is her performance prowess, to any significant degree, or just the ingenious assembly of pieces that makes this release work. But it is an increasingly enthralling album (“album” specifically n that old-fashioned sense) which intrigues on first hearing and continues to grow on the ears after each successive spin. While I am usually am not keen on compilations, this finely balanced mix of fifteen composers (three world premier recordings of Wolfram Wagner, Alexander Kral, and Meinhard Ruedenauer; further including Préludes by Lyadov, Genzmer, Rota, Tcherepnin, Kabalevsky, Skempton, Casella, Delius, Mompou, Shostakovich, Piazzolla, and Gershwin), this is an easy exception and newfound dear musical companion.