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.

The Metro
06 March 2006