Night Thoughts
Len Vorster, piano
Move MCD 647
Four Stars

CD Review Night Thoughts

Chances are that you’ve heard Len Vorster. Born in South Africa, he has been resident in Australia for the last 40 years, and is a pianist, accompanist, and teacher. He has achieved recognition for his recordings of de Falla (with Merlyn Quaife) and a two-piano version of Holst’s The Planets (with Robert Chamberlain) and has also recorded with Deborah de Graaff and Lauris Elms.

Night Thoughts took shape as a response to the extended COVID lockdowns in Melbourne: contemporary Australian composer Jillian Rose Tymms’s nocturne Silberstrief, written for Vorster, addresses the fear, isolation – and hope – felt by many.

Two of the 15 items on this recording were composed in the wake of the Spanish flu pandemic of a century ago – Bloch’s In the Night, mostly sombre and ending peacefully, and Hindemith’s Nachtstück, once again melancholic but featuring a sparkling middle section that reminds the listener that all is not dark in the night sky. Nocturnes by Tchaikovsky, Clara Schumann and Fauré, as well as more recent compositions, attest to a thoughtfully programmed, sensitively played recital.

Paul Cooke