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Partnerships come and go, but if there's one thing these works demand beyond first class musicianship, it's the personal chemistry between the performers. Rostropovich and Richter, whose readings remain to this day one of the treasures of recorded music, certainly had that in spades. But with this performance by two crackerjack Swedish musicians [listen -- CD2 track 4, 0:01-1:12], even that august document has met its competition.

Mr Pålsson is a tremendously charismatic pianist, and a Beethoven player to the manor born. This is music to which he is eminently suited. His is music making that is at once big boned and simply presented, yet consistently cognizant of every detail. Mr. Pålsson's command of nuance and articulation is both informed and specific, while his grasp of rhythm is astonishing for its cogency and drive. There is not a single musical event, be it a wailing appoggiatura or an interruptive sforzando that escapes his expressive attention.

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Copyright © 22 February 2004 John Bell Young, Tampa, Florida, USA


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