Chopin Piano Sonatas - The Metro
Artur Pizarro really throws his hat into the ring with a recital of two of the most popular and frequently recorded pieces in the repertoire: Chopin's Sonatas 2 and 3. A brave decision but one with spectacular results. His piano playing has a muscularity and freedom that has a deliciously old-fashioned feel - no wonder elsewhere he cites recordings from a previous age as his influences - but he never forgets the need for a certain kind of rigorous restrain: just listen to the masterly way in which he controls the fire-and-ice exchanges in the first movement of the third sonata for example. He plays on a dark chocolaty-sounding Bluthner with a soft-edged attack and although one can imagine other pianists descending into mush, it really brings out the best in Pizarro's dreamy cantabiles without damping his fiery power elsewhere.