Schumann: Carnaval; Bunte Blätter; Kreisleriana; Novellettes, Op. 21/1 & 8; Papillons; Toccata, Op. 7; Arabeske, Op. 18

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Schumann
LABELS: EMI Double Forte
WORKS: Carnaval; Bunte Blätter; Kreisleriana; Novellettes, Op. 21/1 & 8; Papillons; Toccata, Op. 7; Arabeske, Op. 18
PERFORMER: Youri Egorov (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CZS 5 74191 2 ADD Reissue (1978-85)
Youri Egorov died in 1988 at the age of 33 and it’s too bad the booklet notes for this budget-price reissue of recordings made originally from 1978 to 1985 don’t include a biography. What marvellous playing! None of the works is performed better on disc. Egorov’s Carnaval, by turns exuberant and sensitive, compares well with the historic recordings of Hess, Arrau and Michelangeli, as well as the modern one of Uchida. His Kreisleriana, thrillingly passionate yet disciplined, is as remarkable as Argerich’s, though, of course, different. The Toccata is perhaps the most perfect of all, much of it light and delicate, without any liberties for technical convenience. The Arabeske, too, is all the more impressive for being restrained, without special pleading, and the coda acquires a distilled intensity of feeling which is breathtaking. The rich, intriguing collection of Bunte Blätter has the edge on Volodos’s charismatic live recording. An absolute must for lovers of some of the most beautiful piano music ever composed. Adrian Jack

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