Although Alexander Borodin wrote relatively little music and left few completed works, he turned out a masterpiece in virtually every genre he touched; think of the tender sweetness of the Second String Quartet, the epic power of the Second Symphony, and the lyrical beauty of Prince Igor. One genre the Russian Romantic rarely touched was piano music, and on this disc, Marco Rapetti plays all of it, including the original version of the Petite Suite, the Scherzo in A flat major, and the transcription of In the Steppes of Central Asia, plus a passel of paraphrases and a handful of early works. Though none of these works rank among the composer's masterpieces, most are ideal examples of Borodin at his most characteristic, and Rapetti plays them all to perfection. With his glowing tone, big technique, and soulful interpretations, the Italian pianist delivers magnificent performances of each piece, no matter how slight. Listeners who are touched by the combination of Borodin's aching lyricism and Rapetti's deeply affectionate reading of the Petite Suite, the best work here, are likely to enjoy this disc. Brilliant's 2008 digital sound is crisp and clean, yet nicely evocative.
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AllMusic Review by James Leonard
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