Notes and Editorial Reviews
After a break of 25 years, Evgeny Kissin signed a new exclusive contract with the Yellow Label. The partnership resumes with the release of Beethoven, Kissin’s first solo recital recording in over a decade. With a program handpicked by Kissin from recitals given over the past decade, the 2-CD album features Piano Sonatas No.14 Op.27 No.2, “Moonlight” and No.23 Op.57, “Appassionata,” as well as 32 Variations in C minor WoO 80 and Piano Sonata No.32 Op.111, the composer’s final work in the genre.
Kissin views the 32 Variations from an essentially pianistic perspective, where technical bravura takes priority over creating unified tempo relationships from one variation to the next. It’s a
valid approach, providing that one has the fingers to bring it off, as Kissin unquestionably does. The “Moonlight” sonata fares best in Kissin’s vehement Finale, where Carnegie Hall’s ambience underlines the dynamic contrasts to intense effect. The “Les Adieux” sonata’s outer movements abound with strong character and textural clarity. He embraces the Op. 111’s large-scale terrain with earnestness and seriousness of purpose. The broad pacing of the Arietta allows for assiduously unified tempo relationships between variations.
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