Nicholas Walker (piano)
Mili Balakirev's Sonata in B-flat minor Op 5 (1905) is the summit of his ambition to create a work that expresses the entire history of Russia. This highly original and most moving of all Russian Sonatas encapsulates all three Sonatas, having begun life as the Grande Sonate Op 3 (1855), here recorded for the first time, subsequently becoming the First Sonata (1856). This recording of the Sonata Op 5 is the first to have been made from the original manuscript, without the mistakes found in the two published scores. Nicholas Walker studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the Moscow Conservatory. Winner of the first Newport International Piano competition, he has performed with major British Orchestras, given recitals worldwide, and recorded for the BBC, BMG Arte Nova, ASV, Chandos and Danacord labels. He is also sought after as an imaginative and sensitive accompanist. Although his Beethoven performances have brought him special critical acclaim, and his performances of lyrical and late romantic piano music have also been highly praised, he is best known for championing the neglected leader of 'The Mighty Handful', Mili Alekseyevich Balakirev. In 2010 he organised the Balakirev Centenary concerts in London. Described in the Financial Times as the nearest thing to a natural Balakirev performer, Nicholas Walker is currently recording Balakirev’s complete piano music for Grand Piano. He also teaches at the Royal Academy of Music.
Balakirev Piano Sonata in B-flat minor, Piano Sonata No 1 in B-flat minor Op 5, Piano Sonata in B-flat minor Op 3 Grande Sonate
Running Time: 1 hr 16 min
'More than 30 CDs have been published so far at Grand Piano. The label combines lesser-known composers such as Joachim Raff or Percy Grainger, with original recordings of piano works by Saint-Saens, Tcherepnin, or Weinberg. Consistently, it is not the big, expensive stars who play, but specialists who devote themselves to this niche repertoire with devotion...the skills of the performers always guarantee an authentic representation: a treasure island of piano music.' (Spiegel Online)