"The collective title suggests, perhaps, a succession of short pieces. But for many the reality will improve on that, for as well as those shorter pieces two complete sonatas are included, giving each of the varieties of enjoyment the great benefit of some contrast in style.
The two sonatas concerned are those of Poulenc and Saint-Saens. Among the lighter examples of their kind they fit the programme very well indeed and also, it seems, the performers; for Stoltzman has a style, beautifully expounded, which suits the lighter music ideally (indeed, the booklet suggests that he has also a feeling for sophisticated jazz playing, which is easy to believe; and it is a field in which I will hope to hear him one day).
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In the sonatas Stoltzman is partnered excellently by Irma Vallecillo; in the arrangements of the shorter pieces he is partnered equally excellently by the harpist, Nancy Allen. The soloist's style of playing perhaps gravitates more easily to the lighter, more romantic than to the classical. In fact, a few will think the lighter side overdone here and there (the Debussy Prelude, perhaps?): hopefully, many more will think all the music suits ideally: and especially so the Satie Gymnopedies, sounding at their very best in these arrangements."
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