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Kabalevsky: Piano Sonatas (Complete)

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 28, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Performed on this recording by Alexandre Dossin, First Prize and Special Prize winner at the 2003 Martha Argerich International Piano Competition, Kabalevsky' highly virtuoso Piano Sonata No. 2 represents the peak of the composer' writing for solo pian
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Product Details

  • Performer: Alexandre Dossin
  • Composer: Dmitri Kabalevsky
  • Audio CD (April 28, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B001U1L9S0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,960 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Dace Gisclard on May 4, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Kabalevsky, for all of the heavy influence of Prokofiev on his style, really can't be played with complete success in the same "fingers of steel," "demon-driven" manner on which so much of Prokofiev thrives. Both composers were eclectics, but as much as one may love Kabalevsky, it also has to be admitted that he was not as skilled as the elder composer in absorbing outside influences into his own style without having the joins show. These statements are NOT meant as a putdowns--they're merely true.

In this valuable new release from NAXOS, Alexandre Dossin demonstrates his understanding of this composer's derivative idiom, and makes no attempt to turn Kabalevsky into "Prokofiev II." For this, his interpretations of this music are all the more convincing and compelling. Kabalevsky may not be "profound," (whatever that overworked word means) but this is a delicious disc--bravo!

The major items here are the three piano sonatas. Besides the pandiatonicism of Prokofiev, these works exhibit many other influences. In No.1, the harmony is often Scriabinesque. Tchaikovsky haunts the slow movement, with a melody in the tenor register surrounded by lyrical figuration. In the finale, certain gestures remind me of the finale of Scriabin's No.3. There are even what sound like momentary references to "The Volga Boatmen" (surely unconscious?) and the ghost of the opening of the sonata returns toward the end.

Sonatas 2 and 3 were conceived almost simultaneously. The highly virtuoso No.2, besides being influenced by the Prokofiev of the "Soviet" period, has something of the brooding grandeur of Mussorgsky and the nervousness of Stravinsky. The thrilling drive of the finale is as close as Kabalevsky comes in these sonatas to the motoric Prokofiev of the Toccata.

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Good quality, arrived on time. Buy it if you like Kabalevsky and want to hear some awesome virtuouso playing. If you are interested in melodic lines, forget this. But if you like prestissimo and awesome piano technique, this would be a good pick. Thank you.
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