Boulez: Piano Sonata No. 1; Piano Sonata No. 2; Piano Sonata No. 3

COMPOSERS: Boulez
LABELS: Naxos
WORKS: Piano Sonata No. 1; Piano Sonata No. 2; Piano Sonata No. 3
PERFORMER: Idil Biret (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 8.553353 DDD
Boulez’s three piano sonatas are favoured by pianists of a cool disposition, like Claude Helffer and Herbert Henck, both pedigree specialists in avant-garde music of the Fifties and Sixties. Idil Biret, one of Naxos’s house pianists, is also cool, but rather boring. In her attempt to master the music’s jagged profile, she’s inclined to streamline and simplify its very detailed range of expression. There are beautiful moments and a sense of poise at the expense of intensity. The Naxos recording is close and clinical. Adrian Jack

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