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There is much musically in Mr Slåttebrekk that brings to mind two great singers of yesteryear, Charles Panzera and Pierre Bernac, also magnificent interpreters of Schumann. He identifies with this music completely, much as Sofronitsky does with Scriabin, Arrau with Liszt, or Schnabel with Beethoven. It doesn't hurt, either, that Mr Slåttebrekk's pedaling is so suave and refined, contributing much to his discriminating palette for contrast and color. Both here and in the lovingly played Arabeske [listen -- track 31, 4:06-5:22] that follows, Mr Slåttebrekk's command, especially in the context of pianissimo playing, is always impressive. But in the final analysis, what comes through in Mr Slåttebrekk's intense music making is his genuine love for every available moment. In his hands nothing is ever taken for granted, nor is anything ever wasted in favor of superficial pianistic banter.

Now if only the cynical commercial world of classical music and its coterie of executives would pay attention to Mr Slåttebrekk, and lavish upon this remarkable artist the opportunities he so richly deserves.

Copyright © 21 July 2004 John Bell Young, Tampa, Florida, USA


Robert Schumann - Sigurd Slåttebrekk

PSC 1215 Stereo 72'36" 2003 Simax Classics

Sigurd Slåttebrekk, piano

Robert Schumann (1810-1856): Carnaval Op 9; Kreisleriana Op 16; Arabeske Op 18

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