Here is a selection of excerpts from reviews of Martin Roscoe's live performances, recording projects and collaborations.

Debussy: Violin Sonata (Jennifer Pike, Martin Roscoe)

“It is their performance that brings something completely new to the work. While following Debussy’s indications with the utmost attention to detail, Pike and Roscoe have a range of colours and nuances that make you do with your ears what you do with your eyes when you stare. Magical and captivating, and completely at home in the elusive world of Debussy, their recording makes me feel I am discovering the composer as for the first time.”

Caroline Rae, BBC Radio 3’s Record Review (Recommended Recording), June 2018

Dohnányi: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 3 - Hyperion

The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 3 - Dohnányi

“…[Roscoe's] finesse of colouring as well as his strong rhythmic impulse and lyrical astuteness are qualities that fit the music ideally and allow it to bloom … Together with the Three Pieces Op 23, an early Gavotte and Musette and a gorgeous Delibes-inspired Naila Waltz, Roscoe is an eloquently expressive advocate for an unduly neglected master of the keyboard.”

Geoffrey Norris, The Telegraph, March 2015

Brahms: Complete Music for Cello and Piano - Avie

Gramophone Magazine, June 2014

“… More than usual, therefore, it is important not to underestimate the value that Martin Roscoe adds to this recording with his utterly faultless playing. He makes you properly listen - the confidence you have in your own ability to understand the music is set up by him at the start, and stays by your side until the end … both Roscoe and Aasgaard understand the heritage, minutely crafting their performance to the point where it really is hard to think of a better one…”

Gramophone Magazine, June 2014

Dohnányi: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 2 - Hyperion

The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 2 - Dohnányi

“…shows Roscoe at his most dazzling, employing a huge dynamic range and changes of mood as swift as they are convincing … Roscoe never miscalculates the voicing of a chord nor smears a colour … It would be difficult to overpraise Roscoe's accomplishment.”

International Record Review, January 2013

“…It's a fantastic disc - wonderful music, wonderfully played. Martin Roscoe deals with it heroically. I cannot imagine how many months this sat on his piano for because it's overflowing with exuberance in every possible regard.”

Iain Burnside, BBC Radio 3, CD review, 5 January 2013

Beethoven: Piano Trios - Cropper Welsh Roscoe Trio - Sonimage

Beethoven: Piano Trios - Cropper Welsh Roscoe Trio - Sonimage

“…The three distinguished players on this recording give an account of Op. 1 No. 1 that would be hard to beat, relishing the rich mastery that Beethoven had already attained.”

Michael Tanner, BBC Music Magazine, April 2012

“…and Roscoe, his grasp of structure absolute, leads his partners in an interpretation of rarefied transcendence that also exalts the whole work.”

Nalen Anthoni, Gramophone, May 2012

Dohnányi: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 1 - Hyperion

The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 1 - Dohnányi

“…Indeed, one of the rhapsodies - the third in C major - has always been one of my favourite pieces… Roscoe finds the ideal blend of lightness and broad lyrical sweep, characterising the other three contrasting rhapsodies with equal effectiveness, as he does the 10 bagatelles of Winterreigen (1905).”

Geoffrey Norris, The Telegraph, January 2012

“…There's something larger than life about the keyboard writing here, and it demands exactly the kind of no-hold-barred approach that Roscoe adopts; he dispatches the fistfuls of notes with wonderful precision and just the right degree of swagger.”

Andrew Clements, The Guardian, January 2012

“…a master pianist who has thoroughly immersed himself in the composer for years … this is a particularly happy start to the series.”

Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone, March 2012

“…Martin Roscoe performs these memorable virtuoso showpieces with tremendous panache and musical sensitivity … though perhaps the most compelling music is contained in the section ‘Sphären Musik’ where Roscoe's control of timbre is utterly magical...The final item is a wonderfully imaginative arrangement of the Waltz from Délibes's ballet Copéllia. It is without question an absolute gem … [and] Roscoe makes light work of its technical intricacies, delivering a charismatic and witty performance.”

Erik Levi, BBC Music Magazine, March 2012

Somervell: Highland Concerto - BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Brabbins - Hyperion

Gramophone, December 2010

“…Beyond his customary grace and lucid phrasing, Martin Roscoe dispatches the often taxing writing with stylish élan, while the indefatigable Martyn Brabbins once again leads the wonderful (and underrated) BBC Scottish players in three world premiere recordings that sound as if they've been a much-loved part of their repertoire for years.”

Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone, December 2011

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol. 2 - Deux-Elles

BBC Music Magazine, August 2010

“Roscoe's technique fully encompasses the pianistic demands and challenges of these pieces, including the deceptive simplicity of the two Op. 49 Sonatas … his command of pianos and pianissimos is complete, as is his ability to make lightning-quick changes between dynamic levels that Beethoven often requires.”

Stephen Pruslin, International Record Review, 21 July 2011

“Martin Roscoe gives a fine account of the Waldstein, capturing all the music's flamboyance, and meticulously conveying Beethoven's controversial pedal-markings in the concluding rondo. His affectionate performances of the Op. 49 Sonatas leave nothing to be desired, either.”

Misha Donat, BBC Music Magazine, August 2011

“…the pacing, the expressive energy, the understanding of form, the tension, absolutely wonderful. For me, this is the best recording of the Waldstein Sonata since Solomon's in the 1950s… perfect musical judgement and a formidable technique there from Martin Roscoe…”

Rob Cowan, BBC Radio 3, 25 May 2011

Franck, Debussy, Ravel Violin Sonatas with Jennifer Pike - Chandos

BBC Music Magazine, May 2011

“…complimented to perfection by Martin Roscoe's subtle textural detailing, [creating] the impression of a gloriously inspired stream of musical consciousness.”

Julian Haylock, Classic FM Magazine, June 2011

“…all masterfully supported by Martin Roscoe.”

Christopher Dingle, BBC Music Magazine, May 2011

“Jennifer Pike, in equal partnership with Martin Roscoe, gives thoroughly idiomatic, glistening performances of three core French violin sonatas. This is playing that brims with character, bringing a smoky seductiveness to the finale of the Debussy.”

Geoffrey Norris, The Telegraph, 12 May 2011

Recital at the Adam International Chamber Music Festival, New Zealand

“…celebrated British pianist Martin Roscoe gave a splendid recital, his prodigious technique and authority never getting in the way of interpretation. Roscoe coaxed wonderful tone and nuance from the 80-year-old Blenheim Steinway piano…Roscoe's performance of the Sonata in B minor was of the highest order. He is a pianist with a superb touch, his fortissimo passages clean and precise, the sensitive passages liquid and beautifully modulated, resulting in a memorable performance of this demanding work.”

Alastair Elliott, The Marlborough Express, 9 February 2011

Concert with City of London Sinfonia at Cadogan Hall, London - 30th Oct 2010

“Constant Lambert's brilliant 1927 Rio Grande nevertheless provided a strong vehicle for choir, orchestra and pianist Martin Roscoe, whose flamboyant keyboard cascades hit just the right note of jazzy impropriety.”

George Hall, The Guardian, 8 November 2010

Concert with Peter Donohoe at City Halls, Glasgow - 3rd Oct 2010

“…the enthralling and revealing results produced yesterday by pianists Peter Donohoe and Martin Roscoe who, after an impressionistic opener by Arnold Bax, gave a performance of Holst's Planets Suite unlike any I have heard… The powerhouse and evocative playing of these two great pianists lifted it off the page and gave it flight and life…”

Michael Tumelty, The Herald, 4 October 2010

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol. 1 - Deux-Elles

Gramophone, June 2010

“…The first volume features the ever popular Pathétique, alongside the three Opus 10 sonatas of equivalent placid melancholy, all delivered with Roscoe's typically scrupulous attention to detail and emotional truth.”

The Independent, 11 June 2010

“…the kind of spontaneous Beethoven playing we only hear in concert and rarely in a studio … I am looking eagerly forward to the coming volumes…”

Pianist Magazine, August 2010

“…Coloured perhaps by a personal fondness for Op 10, I think Roscoe's way with them is nigh-on perfect, lightly pedalled, full of a youthful vitality and impudence … a refined pianist with the wisdom of experience…”

Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone, June 2010

Classical Music, July 2010

“…Throughout, there is an emphasis on clarity, but his sound is never dry and his approach is never academic or cautious. Tempos are generally brisk, pedalling is always judicious, touches are varied and finely nuanced, and dynamics are precisely observed … I am often reminded of the verve, clarity, and humour of Alfred Brendel's early recording of these works for Vox … I will be very interested to follow Roscoe's series and to eventually compare it with other versions, including the notable ones by Artur Schnabel, Wilhelm Kempff, Annie Fischer, Richard Goode and Brendel. The present disc bodes well for such a comparison.

Charles Timbrell, Fanfare Magazine, August 2010

“…Roscoe is assured in his shaping of the music, and there is a confident and unvarnished dynamism that reveals a pianist at the top of his game … Roscoe brings panache, sensitivity and relish to the task, finding pathos, humour and exuberance…”

Colin Anderson, International Piano, May/June 2010

BBC Music Magazine, June 2010

“…In the Pathétique's finale, Roscoe presents an ideal combination of lyrical warmth and agitation, and it's good, too, to hear the opening chord of the first movement's slow introduction treated rather more subtly than the straightforward fortissimo offered by so many pianists … Roscoe's Beethoven cycle promises to be a welcome addition to what is a very crowded field…”

BBC Music Magazine, June 2010

“…There is not a whiff of indulgence. Fast movements are marked by drive, energy and drama - when Beethoven gets agitated Roscoe has steely control. His precision at high speed is simply breathtaking. In the slow movements, especially of opus 10 no 3, the profundity of the music emerges from his unaffected approach: it is neither layered on nor is it dredged up…”

Glasgow Herald, 5 July 2010

Hermann: Hangover Square - selection/BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Rumon Gamba

Gramophone, March 2010

“…thrillingly done with the electrifying soloist Martin Roscoe.”

Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 8th April 2010

“Martin Roscoe is the commanding soloist in a performance that has exceptional depth and resonance.”

Adrian Edwards, Gramophone, March 2010

Cropper Welsh Roscoe Trio - Kings Place December 2009

“For the piano trios, the (Peter) Cropper (Moray) Welsh (Martin) Roscoe Trio took over, playing with a torrential passion that was an immediate reminder of the virtues of seasoned musicianship. Three more experienced and insightful players it would be hard to find…”

Paul Driver, The Sunday Times, 6th December 2009

BBC SSO/Discovering Music - 23 November 2009
Martinu, Piano Concerto No. 2

“…in the golden Second Concerto, Martin Roscoe [was] the unfailingly lucid pianist who brought the glittering concerto, in all its life-affirming brilliance, leaping from the page … What a concert.”

Michael Tumelty, The Herald, 24th November 2009

Nielsen: Complete Piano Music

“Roscoe serves Nielsen well, with performances that are very much on the front foot … Roscoe is now a clear first choice for the complete works…”

Birmingham Post, 9th June 2008

“Complete recording projects such as this often disappoint, because they tend to include instances where composers have not been at their best. One or two works here - A Dream About Silent Night and the Festival Prelude - would not have been missed had they not been included. Yet the Symphonic Suite, Op 8; the Chaconne, Op 32; the magnificent Theme and Variations, Op 40; the Suite, Op 45; and the late, posthumously published Three Piano Pieces, Op 59, are powerful, poetic, original in both idea and structure, widely varied in mood, impressively organic and as important in their way as any of Nielsen's remarkable symphonies. Martin Roscoe's technique withstands everything that the composer throws at it. He obviously believes in every note, as well he might.”

Stephen Pettitt, Sunday Times, 1st June 2008

“Martin Roscoe is right inside this music and guides us through its marvels with great subtlety and authority. His is the most eloquent account since the pioneering set by Arne Skjold Rasmussen (Vox). Hyperion gives him vivid and natural recorded sound…”

5 Star rating - BBC Music Magazine, July 2008

“Playing of finesse and refinement characterises this Nielsen integrale … These new recordings are sonically the best yet. Roscoe is famed for his touch and his playing's delicacy and finesse is evident throughout, from the early Five Pieces (1887-90) to the Piano Music for Young and Old (1930). In the Op 45 Suite Det Luciferiske (1919-1920), he emphasises the lighter side - Lucifer was the bringer of Fire and Light after all - while in the Three Pieces (1928) he gets the balance between expression and experimentation just right…”

The Gramophone, July 2008

“Nielsen's fondness for stealthily shifting the tonal centre across a single work makes the prospect of disorientation all the more problematic for the listener. It is precisely this reason that Roscoe's patient vision succeeds so palpably in this repertoire: Variations 11 and 15 reveal playing from the very top drawer ... the album as a whole is a treasure-chest; it presents an entirely new slant for those not yet acquainted with Nielsen's music and broadens the field of vision significantly for those are.”

International Record Review, June 2008

Beethoven: Violin Sonatas, Vol. 1 & 2
Peter Cropper (violin), Martin Roscoe (piano)

“ [Peter Cropper's] natural assertiveness suits Beethoven's violin sonatas, especially when matched by the forthrightness of Martin Roscoe at the piano. These are, characteristically, deeply honest performances. The violin is steely and earthy, full of colour. They revel in the playful turns of Op 12 No 2 in A, warm to the lyricism and harmonic and rhythmic adventures of the "Spring" Sonata, Op 24, are ignited by the energies of the G major work, Op 30 No 3, and bring concentrated intensity to Op 23 in A minor - all the while making the music sound as fresh and revolutionary as it indeed is.”

Stephen Pettitt, Sunday Times, 9 September 2007

“…gripping, spontaneous performances … Cropper and Roscoe focus our attention on the music pure and simple so that one is barely aware of interpreters at work…”

International Record Review, May 2007

“Played like this, you can imagine how explosive and unsettling Beethoven must have sounded in polite aristocratic salons and Biedermeier drawing rooms - the tiger in the parlour. Cropper's energy and volatility are also very welcome in the C minor Sonata, and with Roscoe's help he makes this strangely changing work convincing on its own terms.”

BBC Music Magazine, May 2007

“When it comes to performing Beethoven, there are some things that do matter and some that don't: Peter Cropper and Martin Roscoe are strong on the things that do. Integrity, directness, intelligence and an intense engagement with the very different complexions of each work all register - whether spruce and Haydnesque in Op.12 No.1, tempestuous in Op.30 No.2 or serene and occasionally witty in Op.96 … Martin Roscoe's piano playing is strong and temperate, and the recording is ideally intimate. An auspicious volume of what may well turn out to be a competitive series.”

Gramophone, April 2007

Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances with Peter Donohoe - Naxos

“…This glorious music is not only extremely difficult to play, it also creates all manner of problems regarding coordination, making Donohoe and Roscoe's achievement here all the more remarkable. No matter how note-splattered the pages become, they somehow maintain precise unanimity of ensemble, while ensuring that Rachmaninov's little textural asides are plainly audible…”

BBC Music Magazine, February 2007

“…With musicians this powerful and a succulent recording, nobody should miss the orchestra in Rachmaninov's two-piano version of his Symphonic Dances. Donohoe and Roscoe summon all the power and clarity needed for this big piece, and ratchet down for the gentler charms of the two early suites, Ops 5 and 17…”

The Times, November 2006

The Pity of War
Matthew Trusler (Violin), Martin Roscoe (Piano)

“These remarkable sonatas all date from the First World War … Trusler and Roscoe play all three with the greatest sensitivity…”

Classic FM Magazine, January 2006

“The violinist Matthew Trusler plays with impressive intensity, alongside his excellent pianist-collaborator Martin Roscoe.”

The Independent, 8 November 2005

“…Trusler's tone is cool, rangy, and brilliantly focused, Roscoe's accompaniment brilliantly shaded.”

Independent on Sunday, 6 November 2005

“While the three sonatas share a sense of wartime angst, melancholy and apprehension, there is a broad range of styles that Trusler and his pianist Martin Roscoe define with precision and subtlety of expression. There is muscle to the playing, but it is supple, poignant and perceptive of mood as well.”

The Daily Telegraph, 5 November 2005

Review archive

The Times, November 2006

“…Martin Roscoe's characteristically clear, pristine, understated and unexaggerated Mozart playing provided the perfect foil to the Strauss…”

The Herald, Glasgow, 25 January 2007

“…Roscoe's formidable mastery deserves serious consideration…”

BBC Music Magazine, December 2004

“…Messiaen's seven Visions de l'amen at the end brought the house down with the propulsive, throbbing, fortissimo radiance of its final Amen de la Consommation … a performance of many facets, Osborne and Roscoe judging the weight of their piano parts with a fine instinct, not only in those pieces where the sonority is huge but also in passages where contrast is the key to the overall impact. In the best sense of the word, the playing was mesmerising…”

Daily Telegraph, June 2003

“…Two pianists of the gigantic, Martin Roscoe and Peter Donohoe, gave a performance whose stature matched that of the work itself … the first Amen of the Creation saw Donohoe's high, pealing complex of rhythms and harmonies fusing with Roscoe's resounding themes as in a meeting of the two firmaments … Donohoe's and Roscoe's coda, fusing the two in rapt rhapsody, was one of the seven wonders of the evening…”

The Times, 1 January 2002

“…the F minor Fantasie played by Martin Roscoe and Mark Ray had all the qualities of spontaneity and attention to details of phrasing and dynamics the composer would surely have considered himself fortunate to hear at one of his Schubertiades…”

The Independent, 17 January 2002

“…Roscoe is a pianist who both thinks and offers full-blooded playing of breadth and depth. In this country, he is an uncommon creature…”

Daily Telegraph, 2000

Martin Roscoe - picture by Eric Richmond

…thrillingly done with the electrifying soloist Martin Roscoe… The Guardian, April 2010

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