Evgeny Kissin Schubert: Piano Sonata in B-flat, d. 960 / Schubert-Liszt: Four Songs / Liszt: Mephisto Waltz No. 1, S. 514
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- by Evgeny Kissin ~ Beethoven: Sonata,Op.27,No.2 / Franck: Prelude, choral et fugue / Brahms: Paganini Variations ~... ~ $8.72
- Released: May 4, 2004
- Originally Released: 2004
- Label: RCA
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
It's hard not to be impressed by Kissin's immaculate pianism here, his lovely singing tone captivates while the finger-popping pyrotechnics of the Mephisto Waltz are dazzling. Kissin's interpretation of Schubert's great B-flat Sonata stresses the lyricism without understating its tragic elements. The opening theme, pocked with little pauses and left-hand ominous rumblings, is wistfully stated, and the clarity of the first climax testifies to Kissin's masterful technique. In some hands the first two movements can sound unvaried but here they're differentiated in tempo and mood. Kissin doesn't flinch from the music's daringly slow tread--the pair take almost 35 minutes, or almost as long as some performances of the entire work, yet Schubert's "heavenly lengths" never outstay their welcome. The song transcriptions are drop-dead gorgeous, not to be missed. But the Sonata is the main show and while Kissin's performance is highly recommendable, don't miss those of Arrau, Rubinstein, or Kempff, among the great older masters who have tackled this work on disc. --Dan Davis END
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