CD review

PIANO NOCTURNES: David Quigley (Avie AV2388) ★★★

The Irish pianist cast his net pretty wide for this anthology aimed at Classic FM territory, 70 minutes of late-night listening with lights dimmed and a glass of wine in hand. Some pieces are pleasant but not stimulating enough to return to frequently; Philip Hammond's plaintive Is Im Bo Agus Eiriu, derived from an 18th century Irish melody, and Philip Martin's pastoral Oiche Ceoil for example. John Field was a pioneer in the form and his Nocturne in E flat major Op.55 No.2 is a charming mixture of simplicity and suavity, winningly played by Quigley. It's good to hear rare examples of the genre from Clara Schumann, Faure, Debussy, Grieg and Tchaikovsky while Respighi's fervent Notturno will stop you from nodding off. More demanding fare – Chopin's Op 55 No 2 and Liszt's Les cloches de Genève – while well played by Quigley lack the penetration and flair of the finest interpreters.

Norman Stinchcombe

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