There was controversy when Alessandro Taverna won bronze at the Leeds International Competition in 2005 - many people thought he should have been awarded the gold. Since then, he's gone from strength to strength, as amply proved by this Medtner album on Somm, which features three of the composer's 14 sonatas - the Reminiscenza, the Romantica and the Minacciosa. The Reminiscenza and Romantica are both exemplary in their dynamic, emotional and architectural control. The Minacciosa's climactic fugue is breathtaking.'' (The Guardian, February 2015) The Guardian's was one of many warm reviews for Alessandro Taverna's debut album on SOMM. His playing on this second album attests to Taverna's close affinity to the music of Debussy and Ravel. HeRead more possesses a mesmerising palette of colors ranging from a seductive, ethereal touch in Ondine to ferocity and thrust in Scarbo - and what great brilliance and dynamism he brings to La Valse and I'isle Joyeuse!
The Debussy Images are beautifully paced. This is utterly unshowy playing too, which suites the Images well. His L'isle joyeuse is impressive, his technique again utterly in service of the music, resulting in playing that is both lithe and transparent. His Ravel La valse makes a fine finale, full of shimmering delicacy and filigree (with some fantastic glissandos), alive to the darkness of this corrupted dance.