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ClassicsOnline Home » STEVENSON, R.: Passacaglia on DSCH (McLachlan)
Tackling an acknowledged masterwork for the piano whose technical challenges are many and whose sheer length requires the stamina of an Olympic athlete is a challenge only for the most fearless. Quite what Dimitry Shostakovich thought of this 'gift' from Ronald Stevenson in the 1960s need not concern us here! It may now not be the longest single movement for piano in the repertoire; that is but a statistic. What remains is the undoubted quality and inventiveness in the writing and it is the duty of any performer to showcase not only his or her own pianistic prowess but to serve the music with flair, insight and love.
Ronald Stevenson himself has issued a recording, one of power and quality. I have heard several other interpretations, by Mark Gasser, Richard Black and Raymond Clarke. And now Murray McLachlan has added his take on the piece. His championing of Scottish composers such as Eric Chisholm, Francis George Scott, J.B. McEwan, Ronald Center and others has been of immense value over recent years. He therefore brings authority and skill to this recording of Stevenson's masterpiece.
Throughout he provides the necessary range of inventiveness, insight and technique to deliver a performance that repays repeated listening. Indeed one has to revisit many times such a work in order to fully appreciate and comprehend its rich seams of musical gold. Other recordings may sound slightly more transparent but I commend this recording very highly.more....
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STEVENSON, R.: Passacaglia on DSCH (McLachlan)