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Piano Recital: Fantasie Kreisleriana Arabeske
Jonathan Biss

This is a beautiful CD, filled with fine, unaffected playing that gets to the heart of the music. The Arabesque is an easy-going piece with a surprisingly deep and stunning finale. Biss's graceful reading flows naturally, even with occasionally almost-dangerously swift tempi. The Kreisleriana is more daring. Biss is not afraid to make a grand noise when called for. Schumann the young composer was at his most expressive and inspired here, and this performance is on a consistently intriguing level, whether at a whisper or a roar. The large-scaled Fantasia, an expression of Robert's love for Clara, is given a dreamy, romantic reading in the first movement, with ardor and power as the work continues; the March sounds grand and instrumental. Biss's technique is superb, but like the greatest pianists (or actors or singers), it isn't what you notice first. The stream of music he produces is always expressive and never showy for its own sake. Highly recommended.

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  • Seller location: Lower Hutt City, Wellington, NZ

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