LABELS: Hyperion Dyad
WORKS: Works by Scarlatti, Haydn, Liszt, Schumann, Berg, Gubaidulina
PERFORMER: Nikolai Demidenko (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CDD 22024 Reissue (1993)
Here, captured all too rarely even in live recordings, is the raptly magical concentration exceptional to the adrenalin of a concert. Demidenko is best in the music of the early Romantics, capturing their atmospheres with utter finesse, exquisite control of tone colour and sharply intelligent empathy. The Vorísek Fantasia is breathtakingly beautiful and full of imagination, as are the Schumann Variations, the Mendelssohn Fantasy and Liszt’s transcription of Beethoven’s song cycle An die ferne Geliebte.
Liszt’s Funérailles and the Berg Sonata too are deeply emotional, compelling and powerful. Less pleasing, though, are the Haydn Variations in F minor, taken like a lugubrious funeral march, and the two Scarlatti sonatas – awkward and overmannered. And it’s surprising that the piano was still standing after the Gubaidulina Ciacona. Jessica Duchen