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Reviews: Piano Works during and after Russian Futurism, Vol. 2 - Thomas Günther

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Reviews: 1

Review by Fugue September 21, 2014 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This is a fantastic follow-up to Vol.1. The Lourie pieces are miniatures (1-3 minutes) that contain a heavy Scriabin influence--perhaps a bit more dissonant at times. Some are wispy, introspective works, while are others are quite dark and even violent at times. For me, the main attraction is the Protopopov Sonata No.3. Wow--it's is quite a knockout. It's in the form of an extended (20 minute) chaconne/passacaglia form, and pushes playability to the limits in places. At times, I was reminded of a mix of Scriabin and Sorabji. Günther seems undaunted by the ferocious technical demands and orchestral-textures.

The sound is superb, which is usually the case with Cybele. It's a pure DSD recording, and the piano sounds fantastic. The perspective is close enough to capture details and give a firm sense of presence, especially in the lower registers, but far enough away to fully capture the volcanic eruptions in the Protopopov. Overall, it sounds fairly closely mic'd in a large hall, so there's plenty of ambience too.

Highly recommended unless you have a low tolerance for dissonance! Mind you, this is not Elliott Carter or Pierre Boulez territory, but it isn't exactly Chopin, either! Both composers use dissonance to add intensity, not for sheer ugliness.

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