Phillip Dyson: Papillons

Phillip Dyson – Piano

This new release from Phillip Dyson provides the listener with something of an eclectic mix of popular classical music, all filtered through the pianist’s distinct personal style. The disc runs the gamut of styles from Rachmaninov preludes to Chopin, Beethoven sonata movements and a particularly peaceful interpretation of Debussy’s ubiquitous Clair de lune. Occasionally the rubato borders on slightly indulgent, but it is worth remembering that these are profoundly personal interpretations of well known works: it is an album that should appeal to those interested in different ways of seeing these works, perhaps more than an album for the hardcore purist. Highlights include the aforementioned Clair de Lune as well as the luminous version of Satie’s Gymnopedie no. 1. The latter is a very faithful rendering of the eccentric composer’s work- almost all of Satie’s works are marked tres lent, and Dyson wisely resists the urge to fluctuate these tempi far from the composer’s directions, as in fact most pianists do- not quite as slow an interpretation as the recently deceased Reinbert de Leeuw, but equally soporific! The disc closes with a fine interpretation of Zez Confrey’s Dizzy Fingers, resisting the urge to overdo the speed in favour of crystal clear articulation throughout. The overall effect is the perfect accompaniment to a relaxed evening, but would also be an ideal concert programme for a sunny afternoon, so I would urge you to catch one of Mr. Dyson’s live concerts if you get the chance. DA

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