Charles O’Brien (1882–1968) is the archetypical composer for a Toccata Classics release: this CD rescues a forgotten Scottish Romantic from oblivion. O’Brien was a mainstay of musical life in Edinburgh, but his attractive, lyrical muse has long since been lost from view there, let alone anywhere else. His lively music reflects his Scottish heritage, mixing echoes of folk-song with Brahmsian bravura and Schumannesque intimacy. This is the first recording in a series devoted to the music of Charles O’Brien: another CD of his piano music has already been recorded and plans to record the orchestral music are already advanced. Warren Mailley-Smith has made his solo debuts in Wigmore Hall in London and Carnegie Hall in New York. In 2011 he made his debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ Concerto. He studied at the Royal College of Music and then took further private studies with Peter Feuchtwanger and the late Ronald Smith. He has received over thirty invitations to perform for the British Royal Family, at Buckingham Palace, Highgrove House and Sandringham. He has recorded eight CDs. A review in Fanfare commented of his Chopin recording: ‘His “Revolutionary” Etude and G-Minor Ballad, for example, are quite electrifying, while his “Raindrop” Prelude and Db-Major Nocturne are truly heartfelt and touching’.
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