Tom Poster, Light and Shadows, review: 'from the sinister to the serene'

June 7th, 2015 | by staff
Tom Poster, Light and Shadows, review: 'from the sinister to the serene'
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Tom Poster: the award-winning pianist

Tom Poster: the award-winning pianist 

The light and shadows of Tom Poster’s new CD are traced through Beethoven’s D major (Pastoral) Sonata Op 28, Schumann’s Waldszenen Op 82, Chopin’s Second (Funeral March) Sonata and the tiny, poignant fragment that is Janácek’s arrangement of the Bohemian Christmas song Narodil se Kristus Pán.

If this last testifies to Poster’s sensibility in programme planning and to his breadth of interests in the piano repertoire, so, too, does his choice of the Waldszenen, pieces that are themselves slightly in the shadows when compared with the popularity of other Schumann works.

These nine miniatures create their images with remarkably economical strokes of the brush, but with a strong evocative focus as well. As Poster reveals through the thoughtful appreciation of colour and mood that also distinguishes his Beethoven and Chopin, these scenes of the forest range from the sinister to the serene, the juxtaposition of Verrufene Stelle (Haunted Spot) and Freundliche Landschaft (Friendly Landscape) showing that this is a forest of mystery as well as marvels.

There are energetic hunting songs; there is the tender Abschied (Farewell), together with the exotic, luminous Vogel als Prophet (The Prophet Bird), in all of which Poster’s sense of character is tellingly astute.

Light and Shadows is out now on Edition Classics EDN 1060

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