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PIANO PEARLS: Adriaan Swerts, Hideyuki Hashimoto, Jean Lucas

Piano Pearls is a handpicked collection of the finest solo piano performances, which rise above the many submissions that we get.

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Adriaan Swerts is a Belgian pianist who's madly immersive and ever-so tranquil piece "Adieu" opens up this edition of Piano Pearls with its wandering melody and an angelic ambient background, lifting the listener a few inches above the ground and for good.

Mr Hashimoto was basically the reason why Piano Pearls even came to be - now back with another piano relic "Kohaku". The distinct style in both composition and production pierces through - though very gently - from the very first bar, elegantly pronouncing the main theme and its elegant elaborations. If there's one pianist that deserves a spot in the rock'n'roll hall of fame, then it's this one.

Netherlands seems to have a steady supply of good pianists, which ranks have now officially been joined by Jean Lukas, who's dynamically rich "Flowers" will engage even the heaviest of the souls into a blissful swing. Beautifully phrased and delivered, the piece is probably one of my favorite arpeggio driven compositions in recent memory.


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