Notes and Editorial Reviews
How this terrific 1991 release escaped my piano CD radar I'll never know, yet I'm grateful to Arkivmusic.com's on-demand reprint program for bringing it to my attention. The unrelenting octaves, unforgiving leaps, and sundry stamina-testing challenges that Stravinsky heaps upon pianists in his Three Movements from Petrouchka do not faze Yefim Bronfman's stentorian technique at all. Moreover, his splendid ear for tone color and sonority often evoke the original "accordion-like" orchestrations, especially in the Shrovetide Fair's chordal climaxes.
In an era where many recent recordings of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition are overrun with interpretive graffiti and textual revisions (if it's good enough for
Horowitz, it's good enough for [fill-in-the-blank]), Bronfman's vividly characterized yet breathtakingly honest pianism is a balm, together with his perfectly judged tempos and tempo relationships.
Bronfman's performance of Tchaikovsky's Dumka is not just a makeweight, but rather stands as one of this undervalued composition's most distinctive recorded versions. The central virtuosic flourishes exude power and poise, while the lyrical sections stand out for Bronfman's suave fingerwork and heartfelt, singing tone. True, the recorded sound is slightly dry, but you hear everything Bronfman does just the same. Highly recommended.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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