Stravinsky The Piano Music
"I knew I was going to like this even before I unwrapped the cellophane and inserted the first disc into my player. The Wyastone Concert Hall is not only a very good acoustic for piano music, but they also have a very nice instrument. Those of us who know will also appreciate the reliably sensitive musicianship and powerfully communicative technique of regular Nimbus artist Martin Jones. In other words, this survey of Stravinsky’s piano music has the wind behind it before we start. There are a few Stravinsky solo piano programmes available and Martin Jones can stand as equal to any of the alternatives I’ve come across. This 2 CD set is an immensely enjoyable one-stop collection."
Dominy Clements Musicweb-international.com
"Stravinsky regarded the piano as primarily a percussion instrument; even when spinning an elegantly sustained neo-classical melody his piano textures are crisp and dry. I am sure Martin Jones knows this - his many recordings demonstrate a pianist of remarkable sensitivity to a wide range of styles - and has scrupulously tried to project a genuinely Stravinskian sound. Indeed this is shown by his care over those early works where Stravinsky hardly sounds like Stravinsky at all: the amply Tchaikovskian manner of the F sharp minor Sonata and the Skriabinesque shot colours of the four études are both admirably conveyed." Michael Oliver, Classic CD
"The Sonata with its cool almost Ravelian Adagietto and the delightful Serenade are perhaps Stravinsky's two finest solo works, and ought to be much better known. The much later and beguiling Tango contrasts with the Circus Polka, which, with its parody of Schubert's Marche Militaire brings an element of the bizarre. Martin Jones readily encompasses the wide range of these pieces."
The Penguin Guide
The promise is realised at once, with punchy performances of some of Stravinsky’s most appealing miniatures, Jones is particularly good with the belting tumult of the Circus Polka, but also turns out a good if marginally too well-fed Tango, and the opening Piano Rag Music is like having a bucket of cold water thrown in your face on a hot day – very refreshing indeed. The 1924 Sonate is given its due weight as one of the concert pieces written for the composer’s own use as a performer, with echoes of his other pieces packaged into a technically approachable and fairly compact package.