Monday, May 30, 2011

Fergus Johnston - Piano works, played by Izumi Kimura

The piano music of my old friend Fergus Johnston this time, in really excellent performances by the Japanese/Irish pianist Izumi Kimura.

Fergus writes music that is full of whimsy and lyricism. The piano pieces here are often dedicated to friends – the composer Raymond Deane and the pianist Reamonn Keary (who was Izumi Kimura's teacher), as well as two of Fergus' former teachers.

I really like Kimura's playing; she combines utter clarity with a wonderful responsiveness to the music's shifts of mood and expression. I just bought her album, Asymmetry, contemporary piano music from Japan and Ireland, and it's a delight. It's on iTunes if you can't be bothered paying post and packing.

The recordings were posted on Fergus' website, and are uploaded with his blessing. I've just collated, tagged and bagged them for ease of use.

Fergus is above, Izumi is on the right, for the avoidance of doubt.

mp3 at 190-ish kbs, but excellent recorded sound. And did I say excellent playing? I did? OK.

Legal stuff: By downloading this material you agree (i) to contact Fergus if you want to use any of the material, (ii) to give Fergus and Izumi due credit if you use it, and (iii) if you make any profit from your use of the material, you agree to share that profit with Fergus, who will share it with Izumi, I am sure

Download from Mediafire

Friday, May 27, 2011

Takahashi Aki plays Feldman's Triadic Memories

If all you know of Takahashi Aki's playing is the astonishing recording of Feldman's "Piano and String Quartet" you will already know what to expect here. Yes, she recorded more – but it's almost impossible to find the recordings. I am indebted to a fellow enthusiast in Japan who originally uploaded this disc. The links are now defunct, so I feel obliged to upload it myself to make sure that it's still somehow available.

The playing has the stillness you would expect from Feldman, but it has something more, something like rapture.

It's also at a decent 256kbs.