International Piano

Discs of this type often descend into utterly joyless exhibitions of note-hitting or well-intended but ultimately enervating semantic reappropriation. First and foremost, Tony Goldstone rejoices in these cascading miniatures as gloriously inventive and musically satisfying pieces in their own right. I would challenge anyone to listen to his Liszt Rigoletto Paraphrase or Busoni Carmen Fantasy merely as a technique-fest, so beguiling are his truly musical responses.

Mendelssohn’s ‘Last Rose of Summer’ Fantasy and Chopin’s ‘Là ci darem’ Variations are often dismissed as being of little interest, but played like this one would think them to be bona fide masterpieces. Even Rimsky’s Bumblebee is totally transformed when its fearsome velocity is despatched with such a relaxed-sounding, velvet-lined touch. An outstanding collection performed with exemplary grace and style, further illuminated by first-rate annotations from Goldstone himself.

—Julian Haylock