Tall Poppies


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 TP (1-901)


Mere Bagatelles

Ian Munro (piano)

$23   (Australian dollars)


buy at: AMC - Buywell - iTunes

As an overview of Australian composition in the 90s, this CD couldn't be bettered. A musicianly look at the piano repertoire and astoundingly good performances.

Carl VineFive Bagatelles
Peter SculthorpeSimori
David LumsdainePostcard Pieces
Keith Humble8 Bagatelles
Nigel ButterleyArioso
Nigel ButterleyComment on a Popular Song
Nigel ButterleyIl gubbo
Ian MunroReturn
Ian MunroThe Forest
Elliott GygerThreshold
Colin BrightEarth Flowering Time
Ann GhandarFour Bagatelles
Amanda Bakerfrom Five Bagatelles
John Woolrichfrom Pianobooks
Martin Wesley-SmithWaltz


The music is of an extremely high standard, and bagatelles by Carl Vine, David Lumsdaine and the late Keith Humble stand out for special mention – nothing 'mere' about these – as do Nigel Butterley's Il gubbo, Gyger's Threshold,. and two exquisite miniatures by Munro himself.… the whole project is a most impressive achievement, and Munro plays all the pieces as though they were classics of the repertoire.
Andrew Ford
24 Hours June 1996

Reviewer: David McKay from Bathurst, Australia
Ian Munro performs interesting piano pieces on the new Stuart piano at Newcastle University Conservatorium. This new piano has special materials, handcrafted in Australia, which include Tasmanian Huon Pine, which is intended to enhance dynamic range and sustain qualities. The instrument is best heard live, though.

This was the first commercial CD to feature the Stuart piano, which has an extra 9 notes, so that the instrument is an 8 octave piano from F to F.

Munro plays works by 12 Australian composers, including himself.

Standout tracks include:
The 5 Bagatelles by Carl Vine
Peter Sculthorpe's Simori
Martin Wesley-Smith's Waltz

Warmly recommended

Amazon Customer Review

From article about the Stuart & Sons pianos

Of the CD recordings I have so far heard, I recommend these four standouts. The recorded sound of each is excellent, the piano sound layered and nuanced, the playing first-rank:

Ian Munro: Mere Bagatelles (Tall Poppies TP080). Munro plays a set of short pieces for solo piano by various contemporary composers with links to Australia. The music is pianistic and never ugly, and some of it is really quite beautiful; eg, Carl Vine's Bagatelle 5, "Threnody."

David Stanhope Plays... (Tall Poppies TP135) is my favorite—a program of transcriptions that are technically very demanding but musically substantial and rewarding. In addition to Busoni's transcription of Bach's Prelude and Fugue in e-flat, there are eight studies by Godowsky on Chopin Études. Of particular interest is Liszt's transcription of Beethoven's Symphony 8. Stanhope has technique to burn, a penetrating musical intelligence, and should be much more widely known.

The two above discs are on Australia's Tall Poppies label, which seems to be a connoisseuse-run labor of love and is well worth your support.


< TP079   TP080   TP081 >
 TP (1-901)



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