Chopin Piano Sonatas - The Herald

When Artur Pizarro released his first Chopin CD (Reminiscences) on LINN Records, the clarity of his playing came as a revelation. It shouldn't have, because that particular characteristic of this distinguished pianist was already well-established. Something special, clearly, was going on. And it continues in his latest Chopin collection, which includes the second and third sonatas.

Though Pizarro catches all the epic qualities and heroic elements in the second sonata, his playing is entirely free of bluster and rhetoric. It is so clear in its detail it is almost transparent.

In the great funeral march there is nothing portentous, just sheer poetry, and the tender lyricism he finds in the middle section will break your heart. By comparison, the third sonata is a dramatic tour de force, with physical power and intellectual command the hallmarks of a very superior performance.

A highly collectable disc from an outstanding pianist, who played Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto this week in Scotland with the SCO.

The Herald
18 March 2006