“…an exciting technique and keen intelligence animated by an impetuous temperament…a remarkable talent.”(The New York Times)
A finalist in the XVII International Chopin Piano Competition, Japanese pianist Aimi Kobayashi shows her evident sympathy for the music of the Polish composer here. His Second Piano Sonata, complete with its Funeral March finale, is played with winning poetry in a fine performance that’s alive to the vividly contrasted moments of light and shade. The more demonstrative music of Liszt, too, finds Kobayashi an imaginative interpreter. She tackles the Dante Sonata with energy, and tunes into the contemplative mood of the three Petrarch Sonnets with creativity and personality.
Once considered in the same breath as Prokofiev and Shostakovich, Kabalevsky’s star has waned somewhat (the same fate has befallen both Myaskovsky and Khachaturian), both in his native Russia and farther West, where he is primarily remembered for his exuberant orchestral potboiler, the overture he wrote to an opera on a Romain Rolland story, Colas Breugnon. The opera won both a Lenin Prize and Rolland’s approval – no small feat – but has been completely forgotten. However, the offbeat rhythms that made the overture an instant hit also lend an upbeat, funky character to the opening movement of the Third Piano Sonata.
Almost four hours of music constitutes exceptional value especially when, tucked away among a selection of Mazurkas, is Chopin's early "Variations on a German National Air". Vásáry charms you into wondering why it is so rarely heard.
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.