Oxford Today

Peter Seivewright has recorded the piano music of a truly international genius, Denmark’s Carl Nielsen, for Naxos. Now he evangelises for Nielsen’s unknown contemporary Louis Glass (1864-1936, but a conservative Romantic),on Divine Art 21205. The double CD includes two piano sonatas plainly using the language of late Beethoven, but without a trace of Beethoven’s speed or originality of thought, of his transcendence. But then Seivewright suggests a parallel with Bruckner, a massive blind spot for me, so others might have more patience with Glass. There’s a big Fantasi too (Liszt/Franck with an untenably Wagnerian apotheosis), but for me the smaller pieces were more interesting – a Grieg-style Pastorale with drone bass, a strikingly Russian bagatelle, and a skittering fantasy which intriguingly fragments into silence. Fine playing.

—Graham Topping