John Paul Ekins’ scintillating, communicative and sensitive performances have drawn praise from audiences and critics alike. On his debut DVD he performs some of his favourite piano works:
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Fantasy in C Minor, K. 475
Franz Schubert – Impromptu in Ab, Op. 90 No. 4
Benjamin Britten – Holiday Diary
Johannes Brahms – Three Intermezzi, Op. 117
Franz Liszt – Cantique d’Amour, S. 173 No. 10
Ludwig van Beethoven – Sonata in C, Op. 53 ‘Waldstein’
“This rewarding concert, recorded live, peaks with Britten’s unjustly neglected Holiday Diary. There are some nice touches: the melody shared by the thumbs is clearly visible thanks to the camera angle, and even the virtuoso ‘Funfair’ is eclipsed by the superb performance of ‘Night.’ The Mozart Fantasy in C Minor is given an eminently musical reading; the Schubert A-flat Impromptu reveals Ekins’ wonderfully light touch; and Liszt’s ‘Cantique d’amour’ is well judged structurally. Brahms’ three Intermezzi Op. 117 are engagingly intimate. Finally, the Waldstein Sonata reveals a fine musical instinct. A pianist to watch.”
International Piano Magazine
“An attractive package with much fine playing, this handsomely produced DVD presents a complete recital given by young British pianist John Paul Ekins. In an engaging, personal programme note, Ekins gives his rationale for wanting to release a DVD of live performances as his first recording, rather than a studio produced CD. The unedited playing is at a remarkably high level throughout and frequently shows the spontaneity at which Ekins is aiming, above all in an intensely Romantic performance of Liszt’s ‘Cantique d’amour’ and an affectionately characterised performance of Britten’s Holiday Diary.
Julian Jacobson, Beethoven Piano Society of Europe
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1. George Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue (Royal Albert Hall, London)
2. Domenico Scarlatti – Sonata in C Major, K. 132 (St. Peter’s Church, Wallingford)
3. Franz Liszt – Sonetto 47 del Petrarca, S. 161 No. 4 (Bucharest Athenaeum)
4. Francois Morel – Étude de Sonorité No.2 (Bucharest Athenaeum)
5. Franz Liszt – Hymne de l’Enfant à son Réveil, S.173 No. 6 (St. Peter’s Church, Wallingford)