Muzio Clementi: Sonata in B-flat “Magic Flute”, opus 24 n° 2
Benjamin Godard: Au matin – Second Valse
Sigismund Thalberg: Nocturne in B Major, opus 51 BIS
Ignaz Moscheles: La Petite babillarde, opus 66
Fritz Kreisler: Rondino on a Theme of Beethoven
Franz Liszt: Die Lorelei
Carl Czerny: Etude mélodieuse, opus 795, n° 3
Nicolai Medtner: Piano Sonata in C Minor “Fairy Tale”, opus 25 n° 1
Jean Sibelius: Romance, opus 24 n° 9
George Gershwin: Novelette in Fourths – Melody n° 40
Ian Hominick (Piano)
Recording: The Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oxford, Mississippi (September 2007) – 67’46
MSR Classics #MS 1341 – Booklet in English
At the fork in the road take the road less traveled. Once there, you’ll pass by fields of open notes like endless acres of flowers waiting to be picked. So many choices, so much beauty, but quickly forgotten. Off the Beaten Path is a bouquet of music with thoughtful selections harvested from an endless landscape of composers yet fully bloomed. If one wants something out of the ordinary, then this MSR Classics recording is well worth the trip on this route.
It’s nice that accomplished pianist Ian Hominick takes time and energy to give attention to obscure composers deserving greater recognition in today’s world of classical music. The Nova Scotia native has organized a resplendent array of pieces, many which are extremely difficult to master. The chosen compositions are gleaned from the Classical, Romantic and 20th century archives.
Overshadowed by contemporary Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Muzio Clementi, nonetheless, was highly regarded as having a plenteous palette of piano acumen. Clementi, a virtuoso pianist in his time, is known for rapid runs and scales with an exceptionally fluid technique. Hominick masters this challenging piece that opens with parroting Mozart’s “Overture” from The Magic Flute; he pays close attention to crescendos and decrescendos. Benjamin Godard’s two little gems are tucked into the fold: Au matin with its pastoral peacefulness and the Second Valse winding through a shower of vim and vigor with scrubbings of Chopin patriotic pulses.
Anyone who has practiced piano will certainly recognize the name of Carl Czerny. Making nimbleness of the fingers is well represented in his Etude melodieuse filled with delightful movement and melodic harmonies. In 1995 Ian Hominick recorded an album devoted solely to the works by Sigismund Thalberg. It goes without saying that this choice from the fluent composer is most appropriate. Ian Hominick gives a persuasive sense of calm and tranquility in the Nocturne in B Major.
Prolific on all fronts, Ignaz Moscheles taught not only Sigismund Thalberg but also Felix Mendelssohn. Here we find Hominick floating through the notes in head spinning pace which aptly gives true meaning to the piece, The Little Chatterer (La Petite babillarde.) Even Franz Liszt makes the album, but Off the Beaten Path, instead, chronicles one of the Hungarian’s more distant works, Die Lorelei, based on the famed Rhine maiden. The former’s fervor and weighted tenure can be found in Fritz Kreisler’s Piano Sonata in C Minor, one that Ian Hominick performs with passionate gravity.
Jean Sibelius sets aside large symphonic works to bring his Romance to the keyboard with a reverent melodramatic air. Hominick pluckiness strikes a light-hearted edge to Gershwin’s rag form Novelette in Fourths, giving an aura of happiness and frivolity while the concluding Melody noº 40 adds a final dash of 1940s nostalgia.
Cutting across all eras of music, Ian Hominick has forged an unusual identity by moving beyond the familiar borders of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Schubert. Hominick’s magic at the keys sets these forgotten jewels in grand light. We only hope this is the beginning of something bigger and better to come.