What a debut it is: Whittall’s Leaves of Grass is a stunning work. One of its greatest assets is the structural and harmonic simplicity of much of the music: steeped in an easy Satiesque indolence of what are at times almost minimalist proportions, Whittall somehow fashions the material into one deeply evocative experience after another. Leaves of Grass is marvellously performed by Finnish pianist Risto-Matti Marin, a year younger than his friend Whittall, on this, his sixth solo CD. One of his most recent projects has been for Toccata, volume I of the piano transcriptions by August Stradal of all of Liszt’s Symphonic Poems. Such Lisztian virtuosity and stamina comes in handy for some of Whittall’s Preludes, but Marin is also a performer of immense subtlety, capable of the finest shadings of expression.”