Magazine article Gramophone

Alberto Reyes: JS Bach/Busoni Chaconne Chopin Polonaise-Fantaisie

Magazine article Gramophone

Alberto Reyes: JS Bach/Busoni Chaconne Chopin Polonaise-Fantaisie

Article excerpt

Alberto Reyes [G]

JS Bach/Busoni Chaconne Chopin Polonaise-fantaisie, Op 61 Franck Prelude, choral et fugue Schumann Piano Sonata No 2, Op 22 Alberto Reyes pf VAI (F) VAIA1284 (66' * DDD)

I first encountered the cultivated and masterful pianism of Alberto Reyes on a hard-to-find 1995 Connoisseur Society release devoted to Liszt's Verdi Paraphrases, and later had the pleasure of reviewing his all-Schumann double-CD set in these pages (6/11). His newest release may be his best yet. Unlike certain pianists who view the Bach-Busoni Chaconne as a virtuoso display piece in and of itself, Reyes's patiently expansive rendition adds up to a masterclass in how to build assiduous climaxes, how to intelligently scale one's dynamics and how to balance the massive textures in sonorously judicious proportions.

By contrast, the Franck Prelude is uncommonly animated and translucent in Reyes's fluent hands, followed by a Chorale anchored by firmly projected bass lines and a sweeping Fugue that benefits from his favouring line over mass. If Reyes's Chopin Polonaise-fantaisie lacks the cutting edge and galvanic brilliance of Horowitz's classic live 1966 Carnegie Hall recording, his intimately drawn, gently swaggering way with the main theme that follows the introduction keeps the polonaise rhythm in focus. …

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