WORKS: Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6; Fantasiestücke, Op. 12
PERFORMER: Benjamin Frith (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 8.550493 DDD
Benjamin Frith and Hamish Milne are excellent British pianists who reproduce faithfully what is in the printed music. The 24-year-old Russian Boris Berezovsky cannotbe relied on to play exactly what is on the page: he takes surprising liberties, though they’re with expression marks rather than the actual notes, and he particularly delights in playing quietly what is marked as loud. But whereas Milne’s and Frith’s discs become less interesting the more you listen, Berezovsky’s draws you in deeper and deeper, because he gives the music life beyond its letter. He is not academic but he is thoughtful, and, at times, brilliantly imaginative. His touch is intensely eloquent and his technique impregnable – the Toccata is superb, as fine as any other recording. As a sample of how ripely expressive Berezovsky can be, try track 10 of the Davidsbündlertänze.
Teldec’s sound is forward but unfortunately woolly, whereas both Frith and Milne sound more distanced yet thin. The piano is still a difficult instrument to record satisfactorily. Adrian Jack