Joseph Moog

Liszt: The 2 Piano Concertos; Totentanz

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All of 20 years old at the time this recording was made, pianist Joseph Moog chose to make his early album offerings devoted to displays of technical prowess and bravura. The two Liszt concertos are certainly up to this task; the works are filled with passagework, extreme technical demands, and showings of sheer power and stamina. Moog is certainly well-equipped for these challenges. He deftly tosses off even the most intricate passage with seeming ease, and he appears to be quite adept at drawing sound from his instrument. But as the extremely well-written liner notes point out, there's much more to Liszt than the glitz and glamour that may appear on the surface. For these more intimate, sensitive, even tender moments, Moog is, at present, ill-equipped. The usually gorgeous second movement of the First Concerto is played with a seemingly blasé attitude toward the score; few moments of true introspection and mature understanding of the music at hand exist anywhere else in the recording. Based solely on his technical merits, Moog's career is certainly one to watch, but he has a great deal of maturing to do before he can pull off the types of thoughtful performances that garner a true fan base.

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