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Character pieces & Grotesqueries

Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-1888)

December 2023

Petit conte · Pour Monsieur Gurkhaus · Jean qui pleure et Jean qui rit, due fughe da camera · Toccatina, Op.75 · Désir, fantaisie  · Capriccio alla-soldatesca, Op.50 · Le tambour bat aux champs, esquisse, Op.50bis · Fantasticheria · Chapeau bas!, 2da fantasticheria  · Ma chère liberté et Ma chère servitude, deux petites pièces, Op.60  · Quasi-Caccia, caprice, Op.53  · Le chemin de fer, étude, Op.27  · Deux petites fantaisies, Op.41

“Lovers of transcendent pianism - superbly recorded, by the way - and high-octane bravura need not hesitate, but it is Alkan's unconstrained flights of fancy that amaze more than anything.”

Gramophone Magazine

"Technically Viner is astonishing, fully the equal of that other great Alkanist Marc-André Hamelin, but it's his poetically charged response to the fantastical elements of the repertoire - surprising harmonies, arresting configurations - which show him ideally suited to Alkan's theatrical Lisztian-Mendelssohnian sound-world."

- Pianist Magazine (*****)


Piano Music Vol.2 

Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944)

October 2022

L'Ondine, Op.101 · Pas des écharpes, 3e air de ballet, Op.37 · Six Pièces humoristiques, Op.87 · Guitare, caprice, Op.32 · Au pays dévasté, Op.155 · Danse créole, (2e havanaise), Op.94 · Six Etudes de concert · Sérénade, Op.29 · Lolita, caprice espagnol, Op.54 


“Wonderful music, performed with charm, affection and, when required, fabulous virtuosity, by pianist Mark Viner; a superb follow up to his equally impressive first volume of Chaminade.”


“Mark Viner adds another impressive album to his already valuable discography. When will the classical world at large wake up to this great talent we have in our midst?

- Gramophone Magazine (Critic's Choice); Named Best Classical Music Album of 2022 and Best Solo Piano Recording of 2022


24 Préludes, Op.17 

Felix Blumenfeld (1863-1931)
September 2022

24 Préludes, Op.17 · Etude pour la main gauche seule, Op.36 · Etude de concert, Op.24


"Viner's superb technical assurance and elegant rubato serve these forgotten gems magnificently well. He is innately attuned to this genre - and, not incidentally, also supplies his own detailed, first-rate booklet notes."

- Gramophone Magazine

"This is another solo recording from pianist Mark Viner, the best friend a neglected composer of piano music could have..."

- The Guardian

"[...] Viner plays all this with great warmth, without false haste, full and rounded tone even in fortissimo. [...] When Viner writes that at least the G minor prelude [no.22] should find its way into the treasury of encores of all pianists, then with the bitter-sweet exultation of this waltz under the apple blossom snowfall of the right hand, he has made the most beautiful declaration of love."

- Franfürter Allgemeine (Nominated for Der Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik) 


11 Pièces dans le style religieux, Op.72
Etude Alla-Barbaro

Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-1888)
June 2022

11 Pièces dans le style religieux et 1 transcription du Messie de Hændel, Op.72 · Etude [from the Encyclopédie du pianiste compositeur] · Etude Alla-Barbaro

"Mark Viner upholds the high standards distinguishing his previous recorded outgoings on this composer's behalf. He also provides intelligent, well-written and thoroughly researched annotations."

- Gramophone Magazine


Paraphrases, Marches & Symphonie for solo piano, Op.39

Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-1888)
February 2021

Salut, cendre du pauvre!, paraphrase, Op.45 · Super flumina Babylonis, paraphrase, Op.52 · Trois Marches quasi da cavalleria, Op.37 · Alleluia, Op.25 · Marche funèbre, Op.26 · Marche triomphale, Op.27 · Douze Etudes dans tous les tons mineurs, Op.39 nos.4-7 'Symphonie'

"In short, another exceptional release from this outstanding British talent."

- Gramophone Magazine

"Mark Viner's mould-breaking survey of Alkan's complete piano music reaches its fourth volume [...] with this astonishing account of the technically forbidding, toughly structured Symphonie for solo piano [...] Viner makes light of all challenges, his sound never forced, his shaping always cogent [...]"

- The Sunday Times

"The Symphony is music of immense technical complexity - ferocious double octaves, massive chordal explosions, vertiginous scales [...] - and Viner negotiates it all with wonderful aplomb and just the right amount of swagger. [...] all dazzlingly played."

The Guardian


Rarities of Piano Music at 'Schloss vor Husum' 2019

Various Composers
August 2020

Sigismond Thalberg (1812-1871)

Fantaisie sur l'opéra Lucrezia Borgia de Donizetti, Op.50 [inter alia]

"There is some coruscating passagework here and heaps of devilish piano writing but Viner takes all this in his stride and frankly is a joy to hear, coupling lyrical playing with immense technique and balanced voicings even in the most strenuous passages."

- MusicWeb International

"Sigismond Thalberg's Fantasy on Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia was bel canto meets early Romantic notespinning. This could have been a vulgar romp (remember the Thalberg vs Liszt pianistic duel of 1837) but not so from the prodigious British Alkan maven Mark Viner, who amply brought out its barnstorming glories with stunning aplomb."

- Pianomania


Grande Sonate, Op.33
Trois Morceaux, Op.15

Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-1888)
March 2020

Grande Sonate, Op. 33 "Les quatre âges· Souvenirs - Trois Morceaux dans le genre pathétique, Op. 15

"[...] another triumphant album [...] Viner, like the young Hamelin, ploughs his own furrow. His day is yet to come, but come it surely will [...] a disc of piano-playing out of the top drawer"

- Gramophone Magazine (Editor's Choice)

"[...] delivered with immaculate brilliance [...] For Alkan fans this is required listening"

- International Piano Magazine (Critic's Choice)

"Viner shows us that Alkan is an important composer - and that's more than enough for me."

- Pianist Magazine


25 Préludes dans tous les tons majeurs et mineurs, Op.31

Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-1888)
PCL 10189
September, 2019

25 Preludes dans tous les tons majeurs et mineurs, Op.31

"[...] Viner's beautiful playing does each piece perfect service, whether through thrilling virtuosity or with poised poetic sensibility."

- The Sunday Times

"This is a superb disc, beautifully recorded [...] and is another feather in the cap of this remarkable British pianist."

- Gramophone Magazine

"Mark Viner gives us the 25 Preludes with an exemplary musicianship and assurance [...] he makes you eager for further issues from this outstanding and most enterprising pianist."

- International Piano Magazine (Critic's choice)


Apothéose & Fantasies on French operas

Sigismond Thalberg (1812-1871)
June, 2019

Fantaisie sur des motifs de l’opéra Les Huguenots de Meyerbeer, Op. 20 · Grand caprice sur des motifs de l’opéra Charles VI de F. Halévy, Op. 48· L’Art du chant appliqué au piano, Op. 70: VII. Bella adorata incognita, romance de l’opéra Il Giuramento de Mercadante · XIX. Casta diva, cavatine de l’opéra Norma de Bellini · Grande fantaisie sur des motifs de l’opéra La Muette de Portici de D. F. E. Auber, Op. 52* · Grand caprice sur la marche de l’Apothéose de Berlioz, Op. 58*

*first recordings

"If you've never heard Halévy's opera Charles VI then fret not - Thalberg offers a whistle-stop tour of the action [...] Viner [...] has already proved a friend to Chaminade and Alkan, as well as an enduring champion of Thalberg."

- Gramophone Magazine


Piano Music

Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944)
November, 2018

Pierrette air de ballet, Op. 41 · 6 Etudes de concert, Op. 35 · Les Sylvains, Op. 60 · Arabesque No. 1, Op. 61 · Poème provençal, Op. 127 · La Lisonjera, Op. 50 · 6 Romances sans paroles, Op. 76 · Thème varié, Op. 89

"Viner's playing, impressively fleet-fingered and ripe-toned, does immaculate service."

- The Sunday Times

"Viner's energy and commitment to his cause are superbly invigorating. [...] Excellently recorded, and with Viner's enthusiastic notes as an added bonus, Volume 2 is eagerly awaited."

- International Piano Magazine

"This new survey [...] must count among the finest yet [...] played with an innate charm an understanding of the genre. [...] Someday, in the not too distant future, some one will sit up and take note of what an exceptional talent we have in our midst."

- Gramophone Magazine (Editor's choice)


12 Etudes, Op.35

Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-1888)
October, 2017

12 Etudes dans tous les tons majeurs, Op.35​

"This is simply an astonishing performance. Seemingly effortlessly, though always dramatically aware, Viner turns Alkan's forbidding torrents of notes into real music"

- The Sunday Times

"Viner is an unflappable interpreter. His playing is as beguiling in the lyrical A major Etude as it is controlled in the manic counterpoint of the C sharp piece, or commanding in the bravura explosions that punctuate the cycle."

- The Guardian

"Superb technical and aesthetic mastery of Alkan [...] Viner's recording is a remarkable release in every respect"

- BBC Music Magazine (Instrumental choice)

"Mark Viner gives us the finest account ever committed to disc [...]"

- Gramophone Magazine


Opera Fantasies

Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
May, 2016

Marche funèbre de Dom Sébastien de Donizetti, S. 402 · Réminiscences de Lucrezia Borgia - Grande Fantaisie I, 1ière partie. Trio du second acte, S.400/1 · Réminiscences de Lucrezia Borgia - Grande Fantaisie II, 2de partie. Chanson à boire – Duo – Finale, S.400/2 · Réminiscences de Norma Grande Fantaisie, S.394 · Hexaméron, S.392

"[...] consistently beautiful sound [...]"

-The Sunday Times

"This is a good recording. He has immense technical chops with what are some exhausting works [...] I admire his musical sensibility, which refuses to allow these pieces to sound simply bombastic and cheesy."

- American Record Guide

"It's a stunner. [...] the extensive Réminiscences de Lucrezia Borgia, a two-part extravaganza of rich expression and vivid greasepaint. [...] Throughout, Viner's technical wizardry, dynamism, musicality and commitment are impressive."

- Pianist Magazine


Opera Fantasies

Sigismond Thalberg (1812-1871)
September, 2015

Fantaisie sur des thèmes de l’opéra Moïse de G. Rossini, Op. 33 · Grande fantaisie sur La sérénade et le menuet de Don Juan, Op. 42 · Andante final de Lucia de Lammermoor, Op. 43 · Grand caprice sur des motifs de La Sonnambula de Bellini, Op. 46 · Grande fantaisie sur Don Pasquale, Op. 67

"[...] from Viner’s fingers the iridescent showers of notes cascade with scintillating exuberance [...] a quite exceptional disc from a blazing young British talent."

- Gramophone Magazine

"The young British pianist is superbly adept in this repertoire [...] superb performance [...] Very promising."

- BBC Music Magazine

"Viner plays with effortless brio [...] to exhilarating effect. [...] This is a superlative recital [...]"

- American Record Guide

"Here Viner manages a near impossible feat [...]"

- Pianist Magazine


Rarities of Piano Music at 'Schloss vor Husum' 2014

Various Composers
August, 2015

Nikolai Medtner (1880-1951)
Primavera, op. 39 no. 3 [inter alia]

"A jackdaw’s nest of paste and diamonds, this selection from the 2014 festival is as enterprising as ever [...] Mark Viner’s no less dazzling way with Medtner’s Primavera is yet another highlight, a truly joyous evocation of spring [...]" 

- Gramophone Magazine

"One gem not to be missed is Nikolai Medtner's Primavera, a lesser-known of his Forgotten Melodies Op. 39, from British pianist Mark Viner."

- The Straits Times

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