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Customer Review

on August 5, 2011
Van Zweden and Fray begin K. 482 at Edwin Fischer's precise tempo to the nanosecond, and Fray plays Fischer's cadenzas, so it's no surprise that this is one of the very best versions of the work since Fischer in 1935/1954 and Wanda Landowska live in 1945 with Rodzinski/NYPO. There is no higher praise. Splendid, full-blooded all-out playing,, big dynamic range, no steady mezzoforte for them, and the great C-minor slow-movement.

In K. 503 Fray plays Friedrich Gulda's excellent cadenzas, but I would have preferred Fischer's again. Fray adds a few embellishments and left-hand fillers of his own, most of which work. Here the collector thinks back to Edwin Fischer again (1946-1947 Salzburg/VPO and PO/Krips), Michelangeli and Fou Ts'ong, who re-introduced the work to 20th-Century audiences. Fray is of their company, and his new recording takes its place on the shelf with theirs. My only reservation is that the woodwinds other than flute are recessed, even against accompanying figures in the piano, and hard to hear unless you know already where to look. But the excellent recording catches many new details.

Other worthy versions by Haskil, Pietro Scarpini, Rubinstein, Annie Fischer, Perahia, Anda, Buchbinder, Uchida, Richter, Gulda himself, Badura-Skoda add strength to a very deep bench, but Edwin Fischer, Michelangeli, and now Fray are of the very first water.
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