Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Schumann: Carnaval Op 9, Sonata No. 1 Op 11

'On a new recital album, Evgeny Kissin brings to the fore many of the virtuoso qualities that have made him a star attraction among pianists of his generation: pianistic command, demonic energy, penetrating insight. The 21-year-old Russian also tends to bear down rather aggressively on certain sections (the stormy opening of the Sonata No. 1, for example) that tends to shortchange Schumann of necessary poetry. "Carnaval" always has been a major litmus test of the "compleat" pianist, and Kissin demonstrates he's more than up to its technical demands.

From the vivid boldness of the "Preambule" across the varied landscape of this kaleidoscopic work, Kissin plays up the music's schizophrenic shifts of character. He makes child's play out of the difficult "Paganini," although you must turn to older recordings by Rubinstein (RCA) and Moiseivitsch (Pearl) to hear subtleties of tone and expression Kissin misses. The same is true of the pianist's handling of the knuckle-busting sonata, although here I found myself more in accord with his volatile, extroverted approach -- it's hard to resist the sheer panache of Kissin's playing. Sixty minutes is rather short for a full-priced disc, although I have no complaints about RCA's engineering, which is as big and bold as the pianism. --Chicago Tribune. December 22, 2002|By John von Rhein.

MP3 320 · 133 MB

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