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Schubert: Piano Sonata in B-flat / Schubert-Liszt: Four Songs / Liszt: Mephisto Waltz
     

Schubert: Piano Sonata in B-flat / Schubert-Liszt: Four Songs / Liszt: Mephisto Waltz

by Evgeny Kissin
 
Evgeny Kissin offers a very personal and daringly Romantic interpretation of Schubert's last piano sonata, composed just a few months before the composer's death at the age of 31. From the halting phrasing of the dreamy, opening tune to the deliberate, almost painful steps of the Andante Sostenuto, Kissin aims to reveal the anguished

Overview

Evgeny Kissin offers a very personal and daringly Romantic interpretation of Schubert's last piano sonata, composed just a few months before the composer's death at the age of 31. From the halting phrasing of the dreamy, opening tune to the deliberate, almost painful steps of the Andante Sostenuto, Kissin aims to reveal the anguished struggle that lies beneath the music's often placid surface. Employing dramatic tempo fluctuations and a laser-like focus on detail, it's a performance that will surely be controversial. The Russian-born pianist is sensitive to the music's palette of dark colors -- note, for example, the subtle shading of the harmonic changes in the Scherzo's trio -- and he breezes through the trickiest of passages with ease. On the other hand, the singing melodic line one normally associates with Schubert succumbs to Kissin's quest to plumb the music's emotional depths. The result won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it's definitely food for thought. Less divisive is a quartet of some of Schubert's best-known lieder, as arranged by Franz Liszt. Kissin does sing here, and his rubato is delicious. And then, for something completely different: The program closes with the first and most famous of Liszt's four "Mephisto" Waltzes. Want to know why Kissin sells out Carnegie Hall every year? Just listen to the clarity of his playing in this finger-crunching showpiece. The precision of his technique indeed seems demonic. Devilishly good fun, and a breath of fresh air after the Schubert sonata.

Editorial Reviews

Gramophone - Jeremy Nicholas
In the Mephisto Waltz...Kissin's fluency, dynamic control and musical imagination are beyond reproach, transforming an old display vehicle into a vital and expressive tone poem.
Birmingham Post - David Hart
As a pianist who hardly ever disappoints, Kissin conveys the charming lyricism and virtuosic undercurrents of these short [Liszt] offerings with effortless grace.... His account of the Mephisto Waltz No. 1 is stunning, combining the supercharged energy of a keyboard athlete with the understanding of a warmly sensitive musician.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/04/2004
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0828765842020
catalogNumber:
58420

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