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Even more demanding, but totally inspiring, was Michelangelo's stunning lineup of Mozart's masterly Rondo K511 -- exactly right in pacing and articulation, three Domenico Scarlatti Sonatas where moods of joviality and sadness were perfectly measured then pitted against two Schubert Sonata fragments -- D571 and D625 -- skilfully joined up to produce a sequence of lilting phrasework that never lacked continuity of touch or meaning through any exaggerated rubato. Schubert's distinctive taste for refinement is something felt rather than contrived. Lutoslawski's Two Studies are its anthithesis, with a spidery framework requiring a certain madness in execution and an assurance for coping with the several pitfalls en route. Not obvious in this case!

Weber's long and operatically based Sonata in A flat Op 39, a favourite with past greats like Mewton-Wood, Gilels, Richter and Ciani, showed that this particular 25 minute marathon can sound just as persuasive and convincing in the gifted hands of a younger potential master pianist. On his latest CD for Papageno, PPG 20034-2, more treats are in store with Schubert's Sonata D568, Szymanowski's Theme varie and Moszkowski's Study No 6. It would make a marvellous Christmas present.

Copyright © 21 December 2005 Bill Newman, Edgware UK



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