Bernstein: Complete Solo Works for Piano

Reviewed on Fri 18 Aug, 2017

Beautifully limpid and light in the four sets of Anniversaries (numbering 29 often exquisitely simple but affecting miniatures), Andrew Cooperstock treats the peristaltic Piano Sonata to adroitly punctuated, suitably robust playing.

Here’s something to whet the appetite for 2018’s Bernstein centenary celebrations – a first recording of the complete solo piano works more comprehensive than both James Tocco’s 1982 Pro Arte survey and Alexander Frey’s 1999 Koch International offering. In Andrew Cooperstock, Bernstein finds a sensitive and eloquent advocate. Beautifully limpid and light in the four sets of Anniversaries (numbering 29 often exquisitely simple but affecting miniatures), he treats the peristaltic Piano Sonata to adroitly punctuated, suitably robust playing. The early arrangement of Aaron Copland’s El Salón México is marked by a winning blend of muscular colour, lively melody and lilting sentiment. Of the pieces published in 2010 and new to disc, the Four Sabras are inked in with characterful playing and Music for the Dance, No II delineated with cut-glass delicacy. A welcome bonus is the first complete account of the Bridal Suite for two players. Seamlessly multi-tracked by Cooperstock, it’s a delight from start to finish – as is the album.
–Michael Quinn