Ingolf Wunder 300

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Chopin,Debussy,Horowitz,Liszt,Morricone & Williams,Moszkowski,Mozart,Rachmaninov,Rimsky-Korsakov,Scarlatti,Scriabin
LABELS: Deutsche Grammophon
ALBUM TITLE: Ingolf Wunder 300
WORKS: Various
PERFORMER: Ingolf Wunder (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 479 0084

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This 28-year-old Austrian pianist’s main claim to fame is second prize in the 2010 International Chopin Competition; the ‘300’ in the title reflects the unremarkable fact that he has given that number of concerts. So does he justify his surname? On this showing, not necessarily – plenty of young pianists play as well. But he does have a very companionable talent. With the exception of the Morricone and John Williams items – put in as crowd-pleasers, though they’re unlikely to please the crowd who have enjoyed the rest of this album – everything here works beautifully. The Scarlatti Sonata with which he begins (K87/L33) has a clean expressiveness, and the Mozart Sonata that follows (K333)has a relaxed, springtime feel: there’s absolutely no affectation in his playing, no hint of the imposition of a ‘vision’ as to how these pieces should be played. The mixture moves from exquisite delicacy (in the Chopin Berceuse) to disciplined power (Liszt’s Csárdás macabre) to music that passes like a breath of wind (Rachmaninov’s arrangement of Flight of the Bumblebee); Volodos’s arrangement of the Alla Turca comes with high-octane virtuosity.

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Michael Church