Marios Papadopoulos plays Janacek's sonata with a gentle, romanticizing melancholy that is nature can well encompass, even if such an approach can diminish the work's sense of tragedy. It is a work with a tougher core than is here suggested. However, this is not an unattractive performance, and Papadopoulos seems more attuned to its manner than to the crisp assertions of the Capriccio or of Stravinsky's Concerto. It does not seem a good idea to attempt the Capriccio without a conductor. The admirable RPO players sound less than wholly comfortable, and their ensemble is a trifle precarious at times; moreover, the work's odd, sharp character does not emerge with sufficient definition.
For this Elektra/Nonesuch release, the Kronos Quartet interprets Witold Lutoslawski's 1964 String Quartet, an uncommonly difficult piece since the four musicians are commanded to play their parts ad lib, as if they were alone. Lutoslawski was influenced by the random procedures of John Cage, but he also wished to maintain dramatic structure, so string quartet includes rigidity in time measures. The balance between freedom and structure provides for a surprisingly appealing recording.
British pianist Jonathan Plowright makes his début recording on BIS. Hailed by Gramophone as ‘one of the finest living pianists’, Plowright is recognised worldwide as a truly exceptional artist. Brahms’s Piano Sonata No. 3 is heroic in scale, unconventional in layout and exudes high quality making it one of the most impressive sonatas since those of Beethoven and Schubert.
Following his recent dazzling Liszt recital (CDA67085), Stephen Hough turns his attention to the finest works of the young Brahms. Brahms's three piano sonatas are early works, culminating with the epic F minor Sonata. Spanning five movements, with dramatic and wildly virtuosic outer movements, and a hauntingly beautiful slow movement (described by Claudio Arrau as "the greatest love music after Tristan, and the most erotic"), this is one of the defining piano sonatas of the mid-nineteenth century.
Acclaimed British pianist Paul Lewis returns to the music of Franz Schubert with another two-disc collection of works for solo piano. His fifth release in the series, this set features the great A minor Piano Sonata D.845, the Impromptus D.935, the Moments Musicaux D.780, the Allegretto D915 and the always-popular Wanderer Fantasy D.760. This release features some of Schubert's most popular and highly regarded compositions for piano and will undoubtedly further enhance Lewis' growing reputation as a specialist in this repertoire and a true heir to the great Alfred Brendel.
Witold Roman Lutosławski was a Polish composer and orchestral conductor. He was one of the major European composers of the 20th century, and one of the preeminent Polish musicians during his last three decades. / Boris Blacher was a German composer. His career was interrupted by National Socialism. He was accused of writing degenerate music and lost his teaching post at the Dresden Conservatory…
“Elisaveta Blumina's achievementis to provoke a re-evaluation of this corner of the Weinberg repertoire. Where previously one might have suspected the 21-year-old composer's debut sonata of a degree of formal and textural miscalculation, Blumina's superior clarity and agility reveal it as a bold and uncompromising statement…She crafts each piece with care and insight.”