One of most interesting things about this CD is the inclusion of a number of rarities. Although these are not crucial parts of the Ireland canon, they are nevertheless valuable to have on disc. I spent a considerable part of my reviews discussing these pieces.
I concluded my review by suggesting that it is “invidious to try to suggest which is the best version of John Ireland’s piano works to purchase. I was introduced to him by the Rowlands and Parkin recordings on Lyrita: I still regard these as the high-water mark of Ireland interpretation. Yet again John Lenehan has produced an interesting survey of these works on Naxos and Eric Parkin did a re-run for Chandos. I guess that most enthusiasts of Ireland will have all these CDs in their collection – along with Desmond Wright. However, Mark Bebbington’s interpretation is excellent. I enjoyed listening to all these pieces and hearing the younger generation’s approach to these masterpieces (and lesser works) by one of Britain’s finest composer’s for the piano.
I suggested that you add this to your collection. Lastly, I eagerly await the next volume from SOMM. I am hoping that this will be a true ‘complete’ cycle of John Ireland's piano music, published and otherwise.
Please listen to my full review on MusicWeb International and please also read Rob Barnett’s thoughts on the same ‘page’.