Oleg Marshev

Liszt: Piano Sonata in B Minor; Tasso; Lamento e Trionfo; Gretchen

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Oleg Marshev is a formidable virtuoso with strength, dexterity, and emotional range -- qualities that make him an ideal Liszt interpreter. Marshev tears into the Romantic master's music with undisguised pleasure. His B minor Sonata is huge in conception and execution with a deft fugue, a shattering climax, and a mysterious coda. His Gretchen is infinitely more private, much more intimate, and far more affecting. And if his Tasso is less successful as an interpretation, the bathetic and bombastic piece itself is largely to blame. Although Marshev's B minor Sonata will probably not erase memories of earlier recordings by Horowitz, Richter, Pollini, and Brendel, it is still well worth hearing by those who love the work or admire the pianist. As before in Marshev's recordings, Danacord's sound is oddly distant and slightly harsh.

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