This CD is truly a pleasure from first note to last and is the ideal successor to the sensational “A Night at the Opera” ( Divine Art DDA25067) which was so well received a few months back. With his unique style and deftly nimble fingerwork, Anthony Goldstone brings these works to life in an uncanny manner.

Khachaturian’s Masquerade Suite moves along at a merry dance-like pace with Schumann’s “Carnival” equally invigorating with the bursts of irrepressible energy wonderfully tamed by the more reflective and pensive moments. The short “Souvenir de Paganini” by Chopin is also beautifully played with its dazzling scales almost taking one centuries back right into the atmosphere of a Venetian carnival.

Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody #9 is another beautiful work which comes alive in Goldstone’s fingers but the real gem here is the rediscovery of Sidney Smith’s Fantaisie on Verdi’s “Ballo”, a true period piece if there was any. All is rounded off with a spanking transcription of Dvorák’s immortal “Carnival” Overture, arranged by Paul Kliegel, which is the ideal conclusion to what is truly a memorable disc. Goldstone contributes exhaustingly detailed and stylish notes which are as important to the disc almost as the music itself. I really cannot recommend this issue too highly both for lovers of the piano as well as anyone who simply loves some good music.

—Gerald Fenech