This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
Aside from George Crumb's Music for a Summer Evening, there are very few masterpieces for two pianos and percussion to stand alongside Bartók's famous sonata for those forces. Nikolai Kapustin's Concerto belongs in this select company. It's a masterpiece. The composer's personal jazz-inflected style fits the medium like a hand in a glove, and the performance here is absolutely marvelous. Pianists Daniel del Pino and Ludmil Angelov play with uninhibited gusto, while the duo Neopercusión provides an irresistible rhythmic impetus. Really, it's impossible to recommend this music highlyRead more enough: Kapustin is one of contemporary music's most original and distinctive voices.
The Eight Concert Etudes are getting to be well known, and have been recorded several times, including by the composer himself, marvelously. Marc-André Hamelin's Hyperion recording, though, may be the easiest to find, and it's also outstanding. Del Pino hasn't quite the technical dazzle of Hamelin; his tempos are a bit more relaxed, but some listeners may well prefer his more lyrical approach, and slower doesn't mean less virtuosic. In the atrociously difficult Sonata No. 14 (which even the composer says he has not played), Ludmil Angelov offers a brilliantly exciting premiere performance.
Kapustin's Paraphrase on Dizzy Gillespie's "Manteca" makes a perfect encore, and brings both of the pianists together for a rousing finale. The sonics are excellent: big, bold, well-balanced, but never hard, and (difficult in music for two pianos) never overloaded. This is one of the most enjoyable and worthwhile discs of contemporary music to come along is quite a while. Don't miss it!