Orlando Gibbons: Complete Keyboard Works (Pienaar)

Daniel-Ben Pienaar

The complete keyboard works of Orlando Gibbons performed by Daniel-Ben Pienaar, piano.

Part 1
Fantasia MB10
Pavan MB17
Galliard MB24
Ground MB26
Mask The Fairest nymph MB43
Fantasia MB14

Part 2
Alman MB35
Galliard MB25
Ground (The Italian ground) MB27
Mask (Lincoln's Inn Mask) MB44
Prelude MB2
Alman MB37

Part 3
Alman MB36
Fantasia MB6
Fantasia MB5
Galliard (Lady Hutton) MB20
Galliard MB23
Galliard MB21

Part 4
Fantasia MB9
Pavan MB16
Ground (Whoop do me no harm, good man) MB31

Part 5
Ground (Peascod time, or, The hunt's up) MB30
Fantasia MB7
Alman MB33

Part 6
Coranto (French Coranto) MB38
Coranto MB39
Mask (Welcome home) MB42
Prelude MB1
Versus MB4
Fantasia MB11

Part 7
Alman MB34
Coranzo MB40
Fantasia MB13
Mask (The temple mask) MB45
Ground (The Queen's command) MB28
Ground (The woods so wild) MB29

Part 8
French Air MB32
Prelude MB3
Fantasia MB8
Pavan MB15
Galliard MB22
Mask (Nann's mask, or, French Alman) MB41

Part 9
Pavan (Lord Salisbury) MB18
Galliard (Lord Salisbury) MB19
Fantasia MB12

Pianist Daniel-Ben Pienaar, an English performer and educator of South African origin, is one of the few individuals to have played the Renaissance organ and virginal music of Orlando Gibbons on a modern piano. One of the others was Glenn Gould, from whom Pienaar takes pains to distinguish himself in his own booklet notes. He strives for a more pianistic approach in contrast to Gould's abstract (Pienaar's word is "arid") playing, with a good deal of pedal and a light, feathery treatment of the quick runs that emerge from Gibbons' basically chordal textures. In various other ways, Pienaar takes Gibbons' music merely as a creative starting point. He groups most of the music into heterogenous sets of from three to five pieces, creating suite-like configurations that Gibbons wouldn't have recognized. It may be that, on a piano, Gould (who named Gibbons, not Bach, as his favorite composer) better complements the complex, serious style of Gibbons' music; Pienaar comes off as frilly and a bit sentimental in comparison. But the real choice is between piano and the instruments for which Gibbons wrote the music. Hear the recording of a program similar to Pienaar's by John Toll, playing a small organ, on the Linn label; how the focus stays on the contrapuntal structure of the music, how the rapid runs complement that structure instead of seeming like an exotic effect, how the serious, intellectual quality of Gibbons' keyboard music, the perfect counterpart to his refined madrigals. There's no doubting the elegance and the technical facility of Pienaar's performances. The only doubt arises when one considers the question of their necessity. ~ James Manheim, Rovi