Notes and Editorial Reviews
Along with Horowitz's famous interpretation, Van Cliburn's is one that makes every bar of the Barber Sonata really speak. Even in an excessively dry recording he manages to suggest an epic dimension, with song, dance, struggle and celebration held in admirable balance.
And it is not just the Barber which makes this an exceptionally desirable reissue. Cliburn's Mozart is beautifully shaded, scrupulously stylish and sensitive to harmonic pulls towards the dark side; and his Debussy is both supple and suavely textured, with a wonderfully judged rhapsodic abandon in ''La soiree dans Grenade''. I could understand some listeners finding the Mozart a little too well-scrubbed and toy-soldierish in places, and there is a tendency for
shapes in the Debussy pieces to be too spasmodic—the Octaves Study is not helped by an exaggerated response to caesuras, and ''Jardins sous la pluie'' is too fast and marred by persistent mis-reading of B sharps as B naturals. But all that detracts very little from a truly distinguished souvenir of Cliburn's artistry.
-- Gramophone (5/1991)
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