For their newest venture, Schloss vor Husum dig ever deeper into the byways of piano literature. And if not everything is of equal value, everything is of absorbing interest, particularly when played by pianists new to the festival. There is Fauré’s Ballade in its early solo version, its profusion of notes creating a magical trellis that even Liszt found daunting. Not so Sofja Gülbadamova, who weaves her way through Fauré’s intricacy with a warmth and affection the reverse of a rigidity often seen as an authentic French style. Sandro Russo gives us Granados’s take on Scarlatti, clearly delighting in the romantic glow cast across music whether gentle or extrovert.
Gianluca Luisi, too, revels in the lush Scriabinesque outpouring of Joseph Marx: rarely can a fugue have sounded less academic and more freely expressive as it builds towards its effulgent end. Amir Tebenikhin offers four Preludes by Glière in superb performances, and there are tributes to Chopin from Adolf Gutmann (who, according to Chopin, could punch a hole in a table), Julian Fontana and Szymanowski expertly played by Hubert Rutkowski. The programme ends with the third of Chabrier’s Valses romantiques from the Duo Grau/Schumacher and there is much more. This, then, is an outstanding disc, particularly for explorers on the lookout for something beyond the safe and narrow.