By the Beautiful Blue Danube Opus 314 Johann Strauss (II) Download 'By the Beautiful Blue Danube Opus 314' on iTunes
A collection of virtuoso pieces that explore composers' transformation of the piano from a percussion instrument into one that can sing. Album of the Week, 26 May 2014.
On this album, British pianist Margaret Fingerhut presents a collection of encore-like works that highlight the way in which composers have transformed the piano, in essence a percussion instrument, into one that can sing.
The album takes its title from a beautiful 1999 piece by John Metcalf, the most recent work on the programme. Its lilting melody suggests a folksong or lullaby, taking us back to Mendelssohn's Songs without Words - two of which are recorded here.
There are also familiar pieces from Schubert, Schumann, Chopin - and some novelty items in the form of Poulenc's Homage to Edith Piaf and six numbers from the George Gershwin songbook.
This is a highly personal disc which has come about after Fingerhut's recent period of injuries which threatened her ability to continue playing. She is on top form here, playing each work with her customary insight, intelligence and sensitivity.