Scarlatti, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin

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COMPOSERS: Beethoven,Chopin,Mozart,Scarlatti
LABELS: Hanssler
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Roman Krasnovsky
WORKS: Sonatas, Kk 146 & 420; Fantasia in D minor, K397;Piano Sonata in G, Op. 14/2; Ballade No. 1 in G minor; Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor
PERFORMER: Roman Krasnovsky (piano)
As far as piano-playing goes, I have never heard worse than this on a commercial recording. The technical quality of the latter is actually good, though because Roman Krasnovsky’s touch has no finesse and the sound he produces no melting point, it sounds like someone banging away in a piano store. Then my copy of the disc was faulty – neither track 9 nor 11 (the scherzo and finale respectively of Chopin’s B minor Sonata) would play. Perhaps my trusty CD player intervened to spare me further agony, for the opening movement sounds like someone practising ve-ry ve-ry slowly, spelling out each note, and the Largo is leaden. It doesn’t even begin to be music. It’s tempting to say that the disc gets worse as your spirits progressively sink listening to it, but the two Scarlatti sonatas show at once that Krasnovsky needs to do a lot more practising before he re-enters a studio. His biography describes him as an organist, pianist and harpsichordist. On this evidence, he only confirms the old prejudice about organists playing the piano. But then I don’t know what kind of organist he is. Adrian Jack