This is a very important release for lovers of 20th century music, featuring one of the most fascinating and important piano works of the 20th century. Passacaglia is, first, one of the longest continuous solo keyboard pieces ever written. It has collected almost a cult following. It is also a piece of wide variety, collecting in influences from the music of many places, but based strongly and closely throughout on the initials DSCH (for Dmitri Schostakovich). We are pleased to dedicate this disc to the composer in celebration of his recent 75th birthday.
Pianist Murray McLachlan is one of Britain’s leading exponents of modern music.
“[Stevenson displays]… a revelatory understanding of the keyboard… both an astonishing compositional achievement and a deeply impressive emotional experience. The CD is a considerable achievement in musical and sound-recording terms: a wonderful 75th birthday present for the composer. Strongly recommended."
“The performance is thrilling. His approach to the work somehow manages to combine an improvisatory freshness and a sense of the inevitability of the form. McLachlan … plays it here as if mastering its praeternatural difficulties were as natural as running your fingers through your hair. Strongly recommended ”
“Murray McLachlan’s… terrific at sustaining cumulative momentum and keeping textures fresh and diversified during the work’s lengthy opening and closing sections. … there’s much to admire in McLachlan’s colouristic instincts and seasoned musicality”
"Here is a committed performance… It could be argued that no pianist has grown up with this work in closer proximity than McLachlan… an exciting pianist. The work is… a living organism… an experience."
“...something of a tour de force… Murray McLachlan is an impressive exponent of this score and he is very well recorded” * * * ("outstanding - key recording")
"Murray McLachlan... turns in a noble, committed, sometimes harrowing performance"